Typically, the sale period is known to mark the beginning of the global holiday season but this year, its significance was somewhat heightened, as businesses of all sizes scrambled to keep up with lockdowns and remote work in a pandemic hit global crisis. One natural advantage has been a seamless migration to online shopping. For exporters we spoke to, this has been a time to both compound and leverage learnings and insights.

“Through Amazon Global Selling, we will continue to make exports easy and accessible for MSMEs across India and contribute to the Government’s vision of boosting exports.”
Abhijit Kamra, Director - Global Trade, Amazon India

Making exports easy and accessible for MSMEs

There is no doubt that the boost of sales will accelerate different levers of growth and build better resilience. Abhijit Kamra, Director - Global Trade, Amazon India, says, “The global holiday season is an important time of the year for Indian exporters on Amazon Global Selling. Coming right after the festive season in India, it has traditionally been a key growth period for our selling partners and with more and more people relying on e-commerce for products globally, we believe it is going to help accelerate the exports business for our sellers. Exports will continue play a critical role in the revival and growth of Indian economy and e-commerce exports helps lower the entry barrier for Indian MSMEs to build and scale their exports business. Through Amazon Global Selling, we will continue to make exports easy and accessible for MSMEs across India and contribute to the Government’s vision of boosting exports.”

Leveraging customer touch points

Skillmatics, a Mumbai-based brand, which designs brain games for children to use a think-and-reason approach grew its US sales 12 times during the months of January – November compared to last year. Just the sale period saw volumes increase 6 times over last year, according company disclosures. Apart from home-schooling being the order of the day, founder, Dhvanil Sheth credits much of the unprecedented velocity of traction to delivering on data insights, feedback and consumer analytics. “COVID-19 definitely migrated consumers online in a big way,” said Sheth. “We doubled down on consumer preferences and listened meticulously, we leveraged on every feedback we got on the platform and using that as an input, optimised better,” he reflected. Skillmatics was the number one bestseller in the educational games category across platform. Next year, the company will take its first steps towards an omni-channel network, supplying to offline stores in the US as well. “When you begin online, we have had a chance to test our product and refine through a feedback mechanism so we feel more confident of our offering,” Sheth said.

Prioritising key opportunities

As we move forward to 2021, experts believe, embracing innovation and agility will be critical to finding success in a new landscape. Estalon, a leather goods manufacturer witnessed a 40% increase in sales compared to last year during the five days of sale. The company, which was earlier a bulk supplier, is still in its early days of tailoring products for retail through Amazon. An online presence helped locate consumer pulse better and it is now building out more product lines such as wallets, belts, gloves and masks, which are understandably faster moving items than Estalon’s signature small luggage category with travel still massively restricted. The company said, this diversification has been the difference between sink or swim for the company since the pandemic hit and bulk selling dropped.

Environment friendly choices

The pandemic has seen consumers redesign and make more environment friendly choices, whether it is using oils or picking out bed sheets. California Design Den and SVA Organics– companies that sell high-end bedding and therapeutic-grade oils have both revived volumes meaningfully during the days of Black Friday And Cyber Monday sale. “More customers have switched preferences for products that are natural and as a result, organic cotton bedsheet line has done well,” said Deepak Mehrotra, founder of California Design Den.
A similar sentiment is echoed by Parisha Goenka, founder of SVA Organics - suppliers of high-quality, organic, and certified natural products in almost all sizes, ranging from totes, barrels, gallons, as well as bottles. "Amazon has given opportunities to women all over the world to contribute in something bigger and I think that's a revolution in itself. I'm still working on making SVA Organics an internationally recognized brand and the year on year growth that we are achieving on Amazon keeps us going. We have seen a YoY growth of 209% this Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales as compared to the last one," says Parisha. Encouraged by the customer response, SVA Organics has doubled its projections based on the uptick in sales and a shift in consumer preferences towards natural remedies of peppermint and lavender oils.