With less than a week to go for the start of the online mega festive sale offers by the ecommerce biggies (Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal), these etailers are ensuring that sellers on their respective platforms do not shy away from offering maximum discounts mainly crucial to drive volumes.
Most of the online retailers are not just increasing spends on advertising and marketing for the mega event, but cajoling their sellers to push the discount envelope to attract customers and keep competitors at bay.
India's number one e-commerce firm Flipkart is not just offering discounts during the mega sale event, it has already asked its sellers to offer discounts even during a random day in the current month itself, The Economic Timesreport said.
This is being done by the company to see that sellers don't increase the product rates just ahead of its Big Billion Days event.
In its effort to provide genuine discounts to its customers, Flipkart is keeping a tab on its sellers to ensure they don't hike prices now and lower prices later during the festive sale period, the report added.
"Flipkart is keeping a close watch on sellers to ensure they don't inflate price tags now and lower it during the festive sales so that consumers get genuine discounts," a seller has been quoted as saying in the ET report.
In fact, Flipkart had courted trouble in June, when an enraged customer busted the myth of a "discount" being offered on sale by the online retailer. The customer said he managed to spot the label on the footwear that said the original price of the product was less than what was being stated. As per the image he posted on Facebook, the seller inflated the price by 50 percent before offering a 50 percent discount.
But this isn't the first time that Flipkart had faced such allegation. It's much publicised Big Billion Day sale event in the past also faced accusations of sellers having hiked up prices just before the sale in order to project that massive discounts were being offered.
Flipkart has said its Big Billion Days sale will be between 2 and 6 October. However, analysts fear this year's festival sales may be impacted by recent guidelines by DIPP that bar e-commerce players from doling out discounts.
A recent media report suggested that online companies are pushing sellers hard to increase discounts on products, but merchants are relatively less averse to it.
In order to woo customers, Flipkart recently said it will spend Rs 30 crore on marketing and advertising of this year's Big Billion Day sale. Besides this, the ecommerce major also said it will forge exclusive tie-ups with major brands and offer EMIs on products for large customers. Also, the online retail firm will once again come out with its Re 1 offer this year, which was highly successful two years ago.
The home-grown etailer last week said it has crossed the 100-million registered users mark, becoming the first e-commerce company in the country to hit the milestone. The Bengaluru-based company has also doubled its user base over the last year and added 25 million users in the past six months alone.
Its two major competitors, Amazon and Snapdeal, too, have announced big plans for their festival sale offers. The marketing and advertising budget of Amazon India is expected to be around Rs 125-130 crore, while Snapdeal said it has invested Rs 200 crore to attract customers.