The upcoming online festive season sales are likely to witness 50% growth year-on-year over 2019 owing to the new wave of customers due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Driven by the massive growth in shoppers, the festive sales for the first event is likely to reach $4 billion this year, according to estimates from internet research firm Redseer. The firm expects festive season sales to almost double in the next couple of months to touch $7 billion in terms of gross merchandise value (GMV). During the festive season last year, the total sales were in the order of $3.8 billion in GMV terms.

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Ecommerce major Amazon is commencing its Great Indian Festival from September 29 to October 4. During the same period, homegrown ecommerce major Flipkart is holding its Big Billion Days Sale. “Consumers now more than ever prefer to shop in a manner that is convenient, safe and hygienic and the ecommerce space meets these requirements,” RedSeer said.

As consumers are apprehensive about visiting high human touchpoint areas like malls and retails, the online sales will be the most-preferred mode for shopping this festive season. The Jio effect also may play a moderately strong role in growing sales in smaller cities, especially if strong integration with fashion/electronics materialises, the research firm said.

Ecommerce platforms regularly run sales and offers in work from home/study from home enabling categories like small electronics, home furnishings and electronic accessories. During the upcoming festive season sales, the ecommerce marketplaces are expected to see 45-50 million customers shop online, a growth of 70% year-on-year. Of this, 30-35% customers are from metro cities, 20-25% from Tier-1 cities and the balance from Tier-2+ cities.

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With the organised retail sector taking a big hit due to Covid-19 pandemic, the share of online sales will further rise this year. The modern retail is yet to see major recovery so far.

Based on the strong festive sales performance, RedSeer expects the total ecommerce to grow and reach $38 billion in sales in the 2020 calendar, a 40% year-on-year growth.

The online festive sale has always been an important indicator of India’s ecommerce growth story. During 2019 festive days, the ecommerce industry recorded GMV worth $2.7 billion, a growth of 30% over the previous year. The festive days sales contributed about 10% of the total annual ecommerce transactions. During the festive month, ecommerce marketplaces usually hold up to three sales leading to the festival of Diwali. The first of these sales is usually the largest and accounts for more than 60% of the sales during the festive period.