MUMBAI (Reuters) - Amazon’s investment in an extensive delivery network, and offering installation services and monthly payment plans, helped make large appliances a major category during its annual festive sale, the head of its Indian business said on Monday.
The bulk of orders for goods such as washing machines and refrigerators came from India’s smaller towns and cities, said Amit Agarwal, adding offerings like extended warranties and same day installation paid off.
“Removing the worry from shopping works,” said Agarwal in a telephone interview, as Amazon wound down its five-day annual festive season sale on Monday.
India’s October-December festive season is the time most households buy big-ticket items.
Smartphones were the largest selling category in terms of value, while fashion was the biggest by units sold, he said.
Amazon’s private label brands - that include everything from dry fruits to backpacks - sold 10 times more than during the e-tailer’s festive sale last year.
Almost 80 percent of Amazon’s new customers and half its new Prime members are from smaller towns too, Agarwal said.
Prime, Amazon’s loyalty program that offers faster delivery, and free music and video streaming services, has helped Amazon attract tens of millions in India, making it Amazon’s fastest-growing Prime market globally.
Sales of new sellers participating in Amazon’s festive event also grew, with over 7,000 sellers clocking upward of a million rupees each, Agarwal said.
“For us we are seeing very broad based success across all our sellers,” he said.
Amazon vies with homegrown Flipkart in India’s burgeoning e-commerce market, tipped in a few years to be worth $200 billion annually. The rivalry has increased this year after U.S. retail giant Walmart bought a majority stake in Flipkart, whose festive season sale ended on Sunday.
Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Euan Rocha and Mark Potter