One of the common and widely accepted facts about Indian ecommerce consumers is their attraction towards discounts. Naturally, sales are one of the biggest occasions for the online shopping industry— and even for offline retailers. However, depending on the Indian culture and festivals, the country’s etailers have made Diwali their festive sale of choice.
However, over the last few years, international shopping events such as Black Friday, Christmas and other non-Indian holidays have also gained popularity in India.
While Black Friday is largely a US shopping festival held on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day, urban millennial Indians have the cultural awareness these days to know what it’s all about. The day which is regarded as the start of the Christmas shopping season in the US is similar to China’s Singles Day shopping festival in November, and India’s Big Billion Sale by Flipkart and Great Indian Sale by Amazon. So are Indians rushing to experience these international for?
Is Black Friday Right For India?
This Black Friday (November 29) many popular ecommerce companies in India including Shein, Club Factory, Nykaa, Myntra, Faballey and others are trying to create a buzz with ‘Black Friday Sales’ and discounts on their websites.
While Black Friday events in India are at a very early stage and don’t have the same scale as their US or European counterparts, according to a report by financial comparison website, Finder, Black Friday is set to be bigger than ever with internet search interest in India at an all-time high.
The report said that the search term ‘Black Friday’ is up 22% from 2016, meaning India is now the country with the 17th highest search volume for the shopping event, alongside countries like Australia, Mexico and Finland.
It also said that a poll suggests the majority of consumers (56%) are planning to shop – the equivalent of 519 Mn people – with men more likely than women to make a Black Friday purchase (58% compared to 50%). Finder spokesperson Susannah Binsted said most people are expected to shop in-store, with just one in five saying they will buy exclusively online.
Talking to Inc42, a Club Factory spokesperson said,
“We believe that The Black Friday Sale is an excellent time for consumers to grab niche products at the best possible price. While we saw over 700% jump in sales during the Diwali period, we hope that we can continue the strong sales momentum during the Black Friday Sale by providing consumers with the best shopping experience at an unbeatable price.”
Further, explaining how the Black Friday sale is different from the other sales, Club Factory told us, “Gamification is the key strategy to our Black Friday sale. We have multiple game features that allow users to get products free of cost (or for just Rs. 1) by inviting their friends on our platform. With deals and Flash Sale at a regular interval of 4 hours, customers can be assured of whopping discount s on their favourite products.”
Since 2005, Black Friday has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year in the US. Due to huge Indian diaspora in the US, exporters from India also benefit from the event.
Will Black Friday Stand Up To Diwali?
In its analysis of the first leg of the festive season sale, research company RedSeer noted that e-tailers have recorded $3 Bn (INR 19,000 Cr) of GMV in the period. The sales, led by Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, this year has penetrated to Tier 2 markets which have created the most buzz and orders. In comparison, in 2018, the same period of the sale generated $2.3 Bn.
Interestingly, India has adopted Singles Day with great aplomb. A report by UCWeb said that over 20 Mn Indians logged on to UC Browser to take part in the recently concluded 11.11 UC Shopping Festival, part of Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. Huaiyuan Yang, VP of UC Web Global Business said that the browser generated over 1 Bn viewable impressions for shopping fest-related content with over 700 Mn coming from the Indian market alone.
It remains to be seen whether India will indeed have the same reception for Black Friday this year. However, in terms of awareness of Black Friday and more western trends, tier 1 market is the only key in the initial days. But are Indians ready for additional western sale trends?