Diwali's round the corner and Saravanan, founder of health foods brand Hathmic, a provider of products including Virgin Coconut Oil, Wild Honey and Whole Grain Oats, gets rolling for the biggest sale of the year. While he started the business selling third-party brands, he has since graduated to selling his own products, especially off Amazon, since 2014.
Diwali 2018 was big sales trigger, with Hathmic seeing a consistent 1.5x growth in sales since then. “We acquired a lot of new to brand customers and they have started following the brand,” he says. To keep pace with an expected surge in demand. He plans to keep 10x his typical inventory in all six warehouses and five clusters. This year, he expects sales to be 3.5-times higher than last year. “You can’t go (into this sale) with last minute preparation … this is not an exam,” he says as he stocks up for Diwali 2019.
Leveraging online successfully
Hathmic is only one of dozens of companies that are building a large online presence on Amazon India over the last couple of years and building a flourishing online presence enroute. These small companies and brands have leveraged the internet to record explosive growth, expanding not just sales, but also their portfolio of products too. Another business that has flourished online is Nutro Active, a provider of keto diet and low carb products, based in Gurgaon.
Nishu Tomar and Lokendra Tomar, the founders of the business, started off on Amazon, dispatching 1,000 orders monthly in 2016 and today deliver 12,000 orders. “Diwali 2018 was very big for us… we sold close to 4,500 units in Diwali or revenue of Rs 1.5 crore,” says Lokendra. “This Diwali we expect to do 2.3-2.4X this, since we get so many eyeballs during the festival.” Then, applying for and being allotted a Star Account Manager has also helped boost sales.
Logistics makes it count
In a competitive market, logistics could help small sellers maximise their benefits of being online. For instance, Amit of TPS Technologies, which sells computer components and peripherals online, says. “We replicated fast moving SKUs to the fulfilment centres, so that before slots get booked, our inventory is next to the customer,” he says.
A look at their sales reveals why so much planning is needed. Before Diwali the company’s sales was Rs 70-80 lakh. It crossed Rs 2 crore during Diwali 2018 and expects to do even better this year. Elsewhere, Raj Kumr Nigam of Savannah Retailers (Samson Mart brand), says sellers should consider investing in Fulfilled by Amazon to manage their logistics requirements. He sold a product to Kerala and shipping it there was far more cost-effective directly handling their own logistics.
Being 'seen' is important
One part of the process of being a star seller on Amazon is preparing the backend for a blockbuster sale season. On the other hand, up front, companies and brands also need to be noticed by customers. To achieve this, brands such as Atomberg, a company that sells energy-efficient ceiling fans under the Gorilla brand name, has invested heavily in Amazon Advertising over the past two-and-a-half years. A lot of people begin their search on Amazon,” says Arindam Paul, Founder Member and Head of Marketing at Atomberg. “When they search for ceiling fans it is very important to come (be seen) up front.”
To achieve this, Atomberg has used Sponsored Brands extensively and a Rs 1.5 crore in sales during Diwali 2018 is proof that this investment was worthwhile. This year, Paul expects Atomberg to do even better, with sales expected to grow 2.3-2.4x. “There is a need to price these products competitively during this time,” he adds.
New product, aggressive pricing the key
Abhishek Parihar of Sagar Fab International knows a thing or two about explosive sales growth during the festive season. In 2018, the maker of corporate apparel saw a 20x increase in sales on day I of Diwali. Normally, Sagar Fab sells 300-600 units daily, but last Diwali it rocketed to 7500 to 8000. “New products and aggressive pricing will help improve your sales,” he says.
The biggest bug bear for an apparel maker like him is returns. And, during festive season this problem is only compounded given the rush of orders. To try to keep up, Sagar Fab measures each product and does a quality check before it is sent out. “Returns is the worst problem for any seller,” he says. Despite this concern, he expects Diwali 2019 to far outdo sales last year. ‘
Time to say thank you
The success of this festival is a reward in itself, however, this is also the time to give a big shout-out to all our customers for making the Great Indian Festival a phenomenal affair by supporting SMEs, entrepreneurs, our service partners and home-grown brands alike. Customers from around the country awaited for deals to strike, shopped online from hundreds of such deals, including from artisans, women entrepreneurs and other sellers. A big thank you for making the Great Indian Festival a sensational hit.
It’s a Seller-bration time
The seller community at Amazon has always strived to give you the best products at the most attractive price. During the festive period this very seller community has seen their business and love for their products grow and they can’t but help thanking all those who made this possible. A budding entrepreneur Sheta Mital of brand &Me said that the response to their home grown, creative products have given them motivation to come up with more innovative products for the customers. A thrilled co-founder of Kapiva Ayurveda said, “We have reached 3x more customers than a usual business day and 5x from last year serving more than 2100 pin-codes so far, thanks to Amazon’s Great Indian Festival. In fact, we did our usual weekly numbers of sale only in the first 3 days of the sale fulfilling ~1200 orders!”
“We did our usual weekly numbers of sale only in the first 3 days of the sale fulfilling ~1200 orders”
Many sellers wait for customer feedback and improvise on their products based on customer guidelines. Tanvi Johri from Carmesi says, “We have seen tremendous growth in our overall reach to customers especially in the last few months - thanks to Amazon. Initially, when we listed, we had to be patient, focus on our learnings from the market and customer feedback, and accordingly implement strategies to grow Amazon. And all that started to produce significant results with time. And Amazon Launchpad team has been extremely supportive and transparent in our journey as a brand on Amazon. We are very happy with the response during the sale & are gearing up for the next phase of our growth.”
“The access we got to customers in Tier II and III cities was exceptional - something we did not imagine would happen.”
Seller Samarth Narang from Heads Up for Tales, is extremely grateful that people from tier-2 and tier-3 cities are now open to online shopping. He adds, “The Amazon Diwali sale has been a blockbuster success! The platform planned this mega event flawlessly and as a seller on Amazon, the experience, order flow and ease of fulfillment has been wonderful. The access we got to customers in Tier II and III cities was exceptional - something we did not imagine would happen.”
The big brands pitched in too
Watch videos on what leading brands said about the Great Indian Festival.
Mr. Biju Kassim, Head - Sales and Marketing at Baccarose talks about their largest selection of authentic perfumes from international brands on @AmazonFashionIN and @AmazonIN breaking all records on Day 1! #AmazonGreatIndianFestival pic.twitter.com/dYPIzoKhs2— Amazon India News (@AmazonNews_IN) September 30, 2019
Leading brands, both global and Indian, were a part of this mega sale – catering to the requirements of customers from across the country. There was a 15X growth in Smartphone purchases led by brands like Samsung, OnePlus, Apple, Xiaomi and Vivoorders in the 5-day shopping extravaganza along with a record number of orders coming from Tier2 & Tier 3 cities in categories like home and TV appliances, mobile phones, fashion and grocery.
Have a look at what big brands such as Wipro and Samsung have to say about being a part of the Great Indian Festival.
“We have replicated our inventory across 10 states covering 15 Amazon’s heavy & bulky warehouses and hence offering the fast track delivery promise to customers across most of India.”
Making customers the centre of their journey are the delivery service partners who are focussed on delivering smiles, but say that a growing customer base means that these very consumers have helped them transform their lives too. "Our women delivery associates are able to realize their financial goals even faster now," says Jamuna Rani, Delivery Service Partner at the All Women Delivery Station in Chennai, while Rupak Chanda, a Delivery Service from Assam says that the joy on customers’ faces when they deliver in Majuli is priceless. If service partners are happy with this growing business, so are the I Have Space partners. Deepali Vadher from I Have Space delivery partner from Rajkot says, "With additional delivery volumes and income, I will surprise my parents with gifts during this festive season." Delivery Associates like Hemant Kumar says, "I’m handling almost 6x deliveries now compared to my first day 4 years ago," while Amit Harda- Delivery Associate says, "When delivering smiles I see respect for me in the eyes of my customers."
With great customers comes greater happiness!
Customers have always come first at Amazon because you have been our mentors as well as critics. The advent of Digital Bharat, has been a force to be reckoned with, allowing us to serve you from the comfort of your fingertips, to bringing you more features and evolving this platform into an unparalleled shopping destination. With more endemic brands getting a platform to showcase their products to the right customers, sellers have shown immense gratitude and have come forward with their words of encouragement.
Anuj from Callas says, “Customers have always had faith in our brand Callas and the festive season has been a real motivator for us. People seem to love our kitchen organizers especially and a big Thank You to customers for choosing our brands.”
Another seller, Ankit Agarwal of Carrypro quips, “The GIF has been phenomenal for a new brand like ours. We have been overwhelmed by the response of customers to our products so far and it has given us the confidence to make more travel backpacks where people could organize and access their items easily from the bag.”
During the journey of #AmazonFestiveYatra, we had interesting conversations with many local residents who have at some point in their lives, purchased products from Amazon.
Also ringing in our emotional cord, is this story of how a rickshaw puller from Lucknow managed to buy a microwave oven on Amazon, for his daughter or that how a parking attendant in Mumbai bought shoes for himself by shopping on the App.
While we at Amazon do our bit by bringing in the best selection from sellers, we owe a big round of applause to you as a customer to constantly believe in us, stand by us and also encourage new sellers who partner with us. We will be back next year with more products, more features and more euphoria!
Know more about how the first 36 hours of the sale saw whooping participation from sellers and new shoppers here.