The e-commerce war is playing out hot and heavy between Amazon and Flipkart ahead of the famed US e-tailer’s founder Jeff Bezos’ visit to Bangalore today.
Times of India reports that Flipkart is executing what it has termed as the ‘Welcome Mr. Bezos‘ campaign. The company has put up huge billboards at the airport, highways and close to Amazon’s headquarters – places where these posters are sure to hit Bezos’ eyes – for its festive season sale campaign called ‘Big Billion Day.’ The same will also follow Bezos to Delhi where he is scheduled to go next, according to sources.
It seems like Flipkart wants to send message to it arch-rival telling them who’s at the top. TOI has also reported that Flipkart is running a ‘Project Victory’ campaign within the organization, a celebration of what it calls a win in the first round of war with Amazon.
When asked about Flipkart’s thoughts on Bezos’ visit, Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart said, “It’s a panic reaction to the fact that Amazon is not able to make any inroads in India. Our market share has increased in the last six months.”
Flipkart, founded by two ex-Amazon employees Sachin and Binny Bansal, is rapidly moving towards touching $2 billion in annual sales (known as gross merchandize value in e-commerce industry) while Amazon is moving close to the billion-dollar figure. Delhi-based Snapdeal, the other big player, is also at about $1 billion in annual sales.
It’s a panic reaction to the fact that Amazon is not able to make any inroads in India. Our market share has increased in the last six months.
For the Seattle-based $75-billion Amazon, India seems to be an extremely crucial market, which was signalled by Bezos’ announcement of a $2 billion investment two months back. That announcement came just a day after rival Flipkart raised $1 billion in a new financing round, valuing it at $7 billion.
Having started its marketplace in June last year, the online retail juggernaut has been doubling down on competitors with putting top dollar in advertising, heavy discounting and bringing on new merchants and sellers on to its platform. It also bought the sponsorship for the Indian Premier League cricket tournament and unleashed a price war, taking the challenge right up to Flipkart.
Over the past few months, though, Flipkart went on an overdrive with exclusive tie-ups with mobile phone makers like Motorola and Xiaomi even as the Myntra acquisition gave it a leg up in the fast-growing apparel and fashion space.
Known as a ruthless competitor, Amazon has always focused on giving the best prices to its customers and undercutting other players to the extent that Bezos once said, “There are two kinds of retailers, those folks who work to figure to charge more, and there are companies that work to figure how to charge less, and we are going to be the second, full-stop.” The war between the two players has only just begun and Bezos’ visit will simply help fuel the e-commerce fire