The Black Friday Sale could not have come at a better time for Indian shoppers. Even for e-commerce platforms, it is an excuse to offload some post-Diwali unsold inventory. Falling right in the middle of the wedding season, and shortly after the festive season, this Black Friday sale (Nov 25-28) saw brands and e-commerce platforms doling out a plethora of attractive discounts, steal deals, and budget buys for Indian customers.
Even though Black Friday — celebrated in the US as a post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday — is a fairly new addition to India’s retail calendar, more and more Gen-Z and millennial users are embracing the sale across platforms, including Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, Nykaa (which dubbed it the Pink Friday Sale), Ajio, Tata Cliq, etc. Even smaller D2C brands, which sell mostly on Instagram, made a splash with 50-60 per cent discounts.
Brand marketing consultant Harish Bijoor tells Business Today, “Black Friday is a recent import. As India gets connected to the rest of the world, the Black Friday sale connects the world of commerce and e-commerce umbilically to the consumer-wallet loosening process. The US has seen over $9 billion loosening into the stream of the Black Friday sale.”
“For brands, it is yet another day to use to their advantage their arsenal of monetizable days,” he adds.
While there is no industry data on the cumulative sales generated by India’s ecommerce players this Black Friday, experts reckon an additional “monetizable day” goes a long way in engaging the customer. So much so that the extra marketing costs incurred by the companies to push and promote their sale is also par for the course. “As of today, ecommerce platforms are still building their number of loyal customers. In that process, all such loss is seen as an investment in building enterprise value,” Bijoor explains.
Take Nykaa, for instance. The publicly listed entity saw 400 orders per minute on its platform on Day 1 of the Pink Friday sale, and recorded a 75 per cent volume growth over last year. Not only was the user engagement high, but the sale of luxury brands too jumped 20X over regular days.
“Along with unique deals, our curations and interactive experiences such as Watch and Buy have driven extremely high engagement. Amplified by the enthusiastic shopping for the ongoing wedding season, the sale saw luxury brands and make-up scooped off our endless aisles at a significantly higher rate than non-sale days,” a Nykaa spokesperson stated.
Fintech platform CRED, which doubles up as a curated e-commerce marketplace, launched offers on 5,000+ products across electronics, food & beverage, wellness, and more. Consumers could choose from a wide assortment of homegrown D2C brands, including boAt, Noise, Beardo, and others. With the CRED Store, “consumers are exposed to newer brands rather than just your legacy brands, giving D2C brands the opportunity to break through the market space,” it said in an earlier statement.
As per Google Trends, searches for “CRED Black Friday Sale” jumped a whopping 2,400 per cent in the week of November 21-27. This was followed by searches for ‘CASETiFY Black Friday’ which saw a rise of 1,550 per cent. (CASETiFY sells sustainable mobile and electronics accessories). Brand websites of Miniso, Pantaloons, The Souled Store, Croma, Puma, and Skechers, also saw a search growth of 300-550 per cent in the Black Friday Sale.
Meanwhile, India’s top two e-commerce marketplaces, Flipkart and Amazon, mimicked their festive season sales to offer steep discounts on smartphones, electronics, home and kitchen appliances. Starting November 24, Amazon also opened up its global Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) sale to Indian sellers and exporters to showcase ‘Make in India’ products.
Bhupen Wakankar, Director, Global Trade, Amazon India, said, “The BFCM sale marks the beginning of the global holiday season. Coming right after the festive season in India, it has traditionally been a key growth period for our sellers. With more and more people relying on e-commerce for products globally, we believe that the 2022 BFCM sale period will help accelerate the exports business for our sellers.”
Homegrown health food brand Slurrp Farm, which is backed by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and Fireside Ventures, expects a 4X growth in revenues via Amazon’s global BFCM sale this year.
“50+ portfolio products across all our categories, including all recent launches such as millet noodles, multigrain pasta, millet upma and jumbo rolled oats, will be live on the Slurrp Farm storefront on Amazon through the sales. Given the increased consumer demand during the BFCM sales, we're expecting 4x growth in sales through the period,” Slurrp Farm Co-founders Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik, said in a statement.
Not just online brands, but even large offline retail players like Vijay Sales launched a series of deals and discounts on Black Friday. It also partnered with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Federal Bank, among others, to offer additional cashbacks, loyalty points, and rewards during the sales period.
Other offline shopping destinations such as Navi Mumbai’s Nexus Seawoods Mall (owned by the Blackstone Group) kicked off its Black Friday Sale over the weekend, offering discounts across 100+ brands in electronics, fashion and apparels, beauty and accessories.
“With ever increasing focus on creating innovative ways to connect with customers and continuing to be the chosen family destination, Nexus Seawoods is now geared up to bring its patrons the best of the deals all under one roof,” it said in a statement.
Also Read: Black Friday online sales to hit record despite high inflation: Adobe Analytics