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Festive Sales: Amazon.in, Flipkart Post Record Growth

“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

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The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

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.

Flipkart
Flipkart’s ‘Big Billion Days’ are back.

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.

Also Read: EU Ruling set a ‘Very Troubling Precedent’, Says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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)

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Amid Lockdown Netflix, Fortnite, Zoom Entertain & Empower Many

Amazon Web Services driven, Netflix, Disney Plus or Hulu and Zoom keep people busy during the lockdown

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Lockdown
AWS driving Netflix, Fortnite, Zoom entertain and empower millions at home during lockdown. Pixabay

As you stream your favourite movies or TV series on Netflix, Disney Plus or Hulu, or connect with your team via video meet app Zoom, leading Cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the backdrop is ensuring seamless, scalable and secure connectivity to help people at home and organisations function while they can’t operate normally at work.

According to AWS CEO Andy Jassy, a lot of things that are allowing humanity to deal with the global health crisis run on top of AWS which is Amazon’s Cloud arm and topped $10 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time in the January-March period.

“We’re just trying to help our customers in various areas. If you look at Netflix, it runs completely on top of AWS. So does Disney Plus. Hulu runs on AWS. Prime Video runs on AWS. All those entertainment pieces have kind of made time go by,” Jassy said during a fireside chat at AWS Online Summit recently.

“Fortnite runs on top of AWS, and so does Sony PlayStation. A lot of other popular games too,” he informed. The popular Battle Royale game Fortnite has gained 350 million registered players, who in April collectively spent over 3.2 billion hours in the game.

Netflix
Netflix and other platforms keeping people sane in lockdown. Pixabay

According to Jassy, AWS has its own video-conferencing service in Chime. “But a lot of people use Zoom, and the vast majority of Zoom’s cloud infrastructure runs on AWS and will for the foreseeable future,” he said. Amazon Chime Voice Connector is a service that enables enterprises to migrate their telephony workloads to AWS.

 

If you have kids at home, you also realise they’re all doing e-learning at the moment. “If you just look at companies like Blackboard and Instructure’s Canvas, which run on top of AWS. A lot of the things that are allowing us to deal with the crisis run on top of AWS. So we’re just trying to help our customers in various areas,” Jassy emphasised. AWS today offers 15 purpose-built database engines including relational, key-value, document, in-memory, graph, time series, and ledger databases.

“We have an unmatched number of those purpose-built databases that people are getting real value from and are changing the way they build applications. So (for us), it’s just the way that people are rethinking how they build in this unprecedented era of data growth,” informed Jassy. It is interesting to see how manufacturing and industrial organisations are changing in these Covid-19 times.

“In these industrial organizations, they have all of these assets that function in their facilities and their factories, and they collect really important data. And today they’re largely sending that data, through AWS IoT, to the cloud to store it and to analyze it,” said Jassy. Amazon AWS IoT has done well in terms of completeness benefiting from a robust Cloud IoT and Application Enablement capabilities. Further, AWS has been building its edge capabilities via AWS Greengrass.

fortnite
Fortnite has gained 350 million registered players, who in April collectively spent over 3.2 billion hours in the game. Pixabay

AWS has grown into a behemoth in itself, raking in $10 billion in sales in the first quarter this year, with a super annual run rate of more than $40 billion. The cloud computing service logged $10.2 billion in sales in the March quarter, up from $7.7 billion from the year-ago quarter – a growth rate of 33 per cent.

Also Read: Thousands of Australians Get Killed Each Year Due To Heat: Study

According to Amazon, AWS now spans 76 Availability Zones within 24 geographic regions, with announced plans for nine more Availability Zones and three more AWS Regions in Indonesia, Japan, and Spain. (IANS)

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Amazon Alexa Powered Mi Band 5 to Check Blood Oxygen Saturation

The band will come with NFC support feature in China

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Mi Band 5
A picture of Mi Band 4, prequal to the upcoming Mi Band 5. Wikimedia Commons

Xiaomi is reportedly working on next-generation fitness tracker Mi Band 5 with features like SpO2 detection that checks the blood oxygen saturation along with Amazon Alexa support.

The latest fitness band will also come with NFC support though the feature would be limited to China.

The fitness tracker is likely to feature 1.2-inch OLED display which is bigger than the one on the Mi Band 4 and is expected to come with a bigger battery.

According to Tizen Help, the Mi Band 5 will have a “Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI)”.
This feature will essentially show users how much activity is required to stay healthy and the band will make such suggestions based on the user’s heart rate data.

 Mi Band 5
The fitness tracker in Mi Band 5 is likely to feature 1.2-inch OLED display. Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: WhatsApp Beta to Add New QR Code Feature for Easy Contact Sharing

The band may also come with a Women menstrual cycle feature (the one available in Apple Watch). This will allow female users to keep a track on their menstrual cycle.

The smart band will be launched in China first and will be available in other countries later. (IANS)

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Simple Do’s and Dont’s For Beginner Bakers

Here are some baking tips for beginners

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Baking
Tips for baker who've just begun amidst the lockdown. Pixabay

Now that most of us have adjusted to the new normal of being confined in our homes and working remotely, one area that has kept creativity alive and brings cheer to otherwise monotonous days is cooking.

Some people have surprised us with their culinary skills, with delectable pictures being posted on their social media profiles. What has stood out during these quarantine times is baking, with banana bread being the latest internet trend.

According to Google Trends, internet searches like ‘How to bake bread at home’ and ‘Banana bread’ have seen over 100 percent spikes in the country, during the lockdown period.

Baking is a deeply engaging activity where all members of the family can pitch in right from measuring the flour to popping the batter in the oven. This World Baking Day, engage both the eldest and the youngest members of your family in the process and have some fun.

To create delicious baked goods we spoke to experts at Flipkart to suggest baking essentials that go a long way in the kitchen:

Baking
Be a baking maestro with these easy tips. Pixabay

Convection ovens, microwaves and more

While baking is easier with an OTG oven, there are other simple substitutes that can be used if you do not have an OTG handy. Microwaves and Gas Tandoors are perfect substitutes for a convection oven. If you own a Gas Tandoor, you can bake anything under the sun from pizzas to cakes. Gas Tandoors are the easiest and the lowest maintenance equipment for baking. Additionally, Microwaves can also be used for. However, the ingredients and process might alter slightly.

Blending wet and dry elements

Immersion hand blenders are key to combine the dry and wet ingredients into a smooth creamy texture. Hand blenders allow the batter to mix together in a uniform consistency without any lumps or air bubble that might hinder that perfect end result.

Processing for uniform texture

Food processors are a blessing, especially when you are rolling a dough. While hand blenders are suited for cakes, food processors are suited for breads, biscuits and scones or even fluffy pancakes. There are many varieties of food processors in the market depending on their auxiliary attachments and functions.

Miscellaneous baking paraphernalia

Baking is enjoyable when you absorb all the elements in it – right from choosing the correct apron fabric to choosing the right mixing bowls. The science behind choosing the right bowl is that copper and glass binds the egg and gives a creamy texture without making it grainy. Besides the electronic equipment, there are various tools that one might need for baking. From basic tools like measuring cups, spatulas and mixing bowls to aprons that protect you from getting drenched in flour, these items are essential for making the baking process smooth, streamlined and efficient.

Baking
Baking becomes easier with these ideas. Pixabay

The extra oomph

Icing on the cake adds to the extra oomph, makes it goey and presentable. If you’re baking a cake, decorative ingredients such as sprinkles, cherries and fruit can be added to add to the flavour and increase the beauty quotient. For savoury items such as pizzas and pastas, mozarella cheese is the way to go. You can be creative with your decorations depending on what you are baking.

Also Read: Vizag Gas Leak: A Tragic Story of Human Blunder

For the perfect icing on the cake

With summers in full swing, it is imperative to store the baked products properly. You must store cakes and icing separately to ensure the end product doesn’t get soggy. Also, make sure the unfrosted cakes and items like pizza dough are stored in a plastic wrap or airtight containers. This adds to the shelf life and keeps the structure of ingredients intact. (IANS)