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Aiming to gain a bigger pie of the $5 billion opportunity this festive season, two big e-commerce players Amazon.in and Flipkart on Friday announced record transactions on their respective platforms, along with adding new customers especially from the tier II and III cities in the September 29-October 4 sale period.
Consumer electronics, smartphones, fashion and large appliances were among the top gainers as the demand surged from smaller cities and towns this year — indicating that the consumer spending has only increased in the country despite slowdown fears.
Amazon.in said it received orders from 99.4 per cent of pincodes while over 65,000 sellers from more than 500 cities received orders in just five days of the first edition of its “Great Indian Festival” sale.
Nearly 15,000 sellers more than doubled the sales while millionaire sellers including “crorepati” sellers exceeded 21,000 sellers in the sale.
Customers from over 15,000 pin codes joined Amazon Prime and Prime members can now be found in every nook and corner of the country. The company said it registered over 88 per cent new customers from small towns.
“The first wave of the Great Indian Festival was our biggest celebration ever with Amazon.in — orders from 99.4 per cent pincodes, over 65,000 sellers from more than 500 cities receiving orders in just five days and customers from over 15,000 pin codes joining Prime,” said Amit Agarwal, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India.
According to market research firm Forrester, online retailers in India are expected to generate about $4.8 billion in sales from September 25 to October 29. About 80 per cent of these sales were to happen between September 29 and October 4.
In the smartphone category, there was 15 times growth led by brands like Samsung, OnePlus, Apple, Xiaomi and Vivo on Amazon.in.
“OnePlus recorded over Rs 700 crore in sales while Samsung saw a growth of 5 times compared to the Great Indian Festival 2018, led by stellar performance of the M Series and good demand for Samsung A series and Samsung Note 9,” said Amazon.in.
Smart home Echo devices saw record 70 times growth — biggest sale ever for Amazon devices.
Large Appliances category saw an 8 times growth. Almost half of the sales came from lower tier towns powered by brands like Godrej, LG, Samsung and Whirlpool.
Amazon Fashion saw a 5 times jump — led by shoes with a 6 times increase followed by Apparel at 4 times which sold more than 1 million units within 24 hours of the sale going live.
Aiming to bring the next 200 million consumers to the e-commerce fold, Flipkart said that “The Big Billion Days” sale witnessed almost 50 per cent growth in the number of new customers compared to last year, with 70 billion views in six days of the sale that began on September 29.
Clocking record sales powered by shoppers and sellers from tier 2 cities and beyond, more than 50 per cent of Flipkart Plus shoppers were from smaller cities and towns, while sales from tier 3 cities grew by 100 per cent (YoY).
“We take immense pride in making e-commerce more inclusive through the introduction of some top categories which during this festive season, have been able to cater to the needs of Tier 2 markets and beyond,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group, said in a statement.
Nearly 50 per cent of top sellers on Flipkart witnessed 3X growth and over 40 per cent of transacting sellers during the sale were from Tier 2 and beyond towns.
Fashion witnessed a 70 per cent growth in sales compared to last year and women customers contributed 45 per cent to overall fashion sales (units sold).
The mobile category saw the biggest festive season till date, with brands achieving more than 2X growth over the last year’s sale.
The Electronics category witnessed an overall growth of 50 per cent in new customers as 34 electronic accessories were sold every second during the early access period.
According to Snapdeal, the orders received so far are 52 per cent higher than in the comparable sale period last year. The top-selling categories in the sale at Snapdeal are apparel, fashion accessories, personal care appliances, lamps and lighting and general merchandise for home and kitchen.
“Snapdeal’s continued growth and leadership in ‘Bharat e-commerce’ is a proof that value-priced selection is an evergreen attraction for shoppers across India,” Kunal Bahl, CEO and Co-founder, Snapdeal, told IANS.
Most consumers took the EMI route to fulfill their wishes.
“Number of customers shopping using EMIs was 1.5 times of Great Indian Festival 2018. New-to-credit customers shopping during Great Indian Festival grew 2 times over the event last year,” said Amazon.in. (IANS)
The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday with a focus on vaccines delivery initially. "This is going to be a pilot project for the area. The drone is developed and manufactured entirely by our scientists," Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh told mediapersons. Singh said he himself will be launching the project at Jammu.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an autonomous Society that is headed by the Prime Minister. For now, the delivery would be limited to Covid vaccines and once successful, it would be expanded to be used for regular delivery of medicines in the remote, hilly areas.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). | Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash
Jammu and surrounding areas are sensitive in terms of the strategic importance. Some months ago, there was an attack on an Army installation using drones. Will the 'drones for vaccines' be permitted in such a case? Allaying fears, a top official from the Ministry of S&T said, "The drones would be deployed by authorised agencies such as hospitals, not anybody can use it, nor would any random person be permitted to use it."
NAL has called the drone as 'Octacopter' and it can fly at an operational altitude of 500 m AGL and at maximum flying speed of 36 kmph. It can be used for a variety of BVLOS applications for last mile delivery like medicines, vaccines, food, postal packets, Human organs (such as heart for heart transplantation) etc. NAL Octacopter is integrated with a powerful on-board embedded computer and latest generation sensors for versatile applications like agricultural pesticide spraying, crop monitoring, mining survey, magnetic geo survey mapping etc., S&T officials had said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Jammu, Vaccines, Medicines, Deliver, Drones, Centre
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan shares how he feels when people compare him with his father Amitabh Bachchan on the singing reality show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. He also requests contestant Rajshree Bag to sing a track 'Bahon Mein Chale Aao' featuring his mother Jaya Bachchan.
Abhishek said after looking at the performance of Rajshree, who is often compared with Lata Mangeshkar on the show, that she reminds him of being compared with his father. "Rajshree, whenever I have got the chance to watch the show, I've seen people compare you to Lata didi. It actually reminded me about how people compare me with my father and ask me how I feel about it."
According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry and this is what he says to everyone making these comparisons. "My answer to them is that there's no greater actor in this film industry than Amitabh Bachchan and if I'm being compared to him, I am sure I must have done something good."
"Similarly, your voice has a different kind of magic like Lata ji and that's why people are comparing your voice with her. I feel you should always take this as a compliment," he concluded. 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' airs on Saturday and Sunday on Zee TV. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Rajshree Bag
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality -- we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point -- the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing. When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
* Purple Mogri -- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country, but you can spot them during the winters | Pixabay
* Sweet Potato -- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. | Wikimedia Commons
* Avarekalu -- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. | Wikimedia Commons
* Amla -- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla -- it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called as Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. | Pixabay
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: winter, Sanjeev Kapoor, chef, Indian gooseberry, Sweet Potato, Radish pods