India's online sales during the just concluded festive season clocked $9.2 billion in 2021, which represents an 22 per cent growth over the 2020 sales numbers. In rupee terms, the sales during the August-November timeframe clocked approximately Rs.65,000 crore.
A report released by market research and consulting firm, RedSeer predicts that the number would edge up to $9.6 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) by the time data from sales during the final weeks of October and early November is compiled. India celebrated Diwali festival on November 4 this year.
In a statement, RedSeer identified a slew of new product launches and availability of easy finance options as the reasons for the spurt in online sales this year. It listed out smartphones as the top selling item over online retail stores, accounting for as much as a third of the total sales.
Next in line came the fashion and accessories category where customers sought out discount sales to refurbish their wardrobes as they prepared to resume work from their respective offices. Post the March 2020 Covid-19-led lockdown, India's major businesses have resorted to remote working.
The fashion segment also saw growth in volumes from tier-2 cities due to innovative schemes that some online retailers offered. In fact, sales in this category doubled in the period under review, which could also be a result of consumers not being able to step out and shop for most of the year.
The RedSeer report listed home furnishings, home decor and electronic appliances as the three categories that shrunk in terms of overall sales compared with the same period last year. Absence of new launches in the last named could be one of the reasons for this decline.
The overall shopping base for online retail grew by 25 per cent, with as many as 57 per cent coming from tier-2 cities. However, there was a slight decline in the overall gross merchandise value per user which touched Rs.6,490 from Rs.6,570 last year.
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