Amazon India, Walmart-owned Flipkart, Grofers, Myntra and Reliance Retail have all started their first major sale event ahead of Republic Day.

According to e-tailers, demand for electronics, smartphones and large appliances continued to be top of the checkout carts for customers, as the latter continue to work from home, mirroring the annual festive season sale trends during the festive sales last October.

“This Great Republic Day Sale, we are bringing products offered by sellers including artisans and weavers, women entrepreneurs, startups, brands and local neighborhood stores across hundreds of categories including smartphones, consumer electronics, fashion, large appliances, TVs, daily essentials and more,” said an Amazon spokesperson.

Amazon India’s four-day long ‘Great Republic Day’ sale started on 20 January and is expected to pick up momentum in sales during the weekend.

Reliance Digital which kickstarted its ‘Digital India Sale’ on 22 January, is relying on its omni-channel play to provide instant delivery of products to customers in less than 3 hours of placing the order. It is providing discounts in partnership with banking partners such as Citi, ICICI and Kotak Mahindra Bank on their debit and credit card-based transactions.

Online grocery firm Grofers is also running an ongoing flagship, semi-annual Grand Orange Bag Days (GOBD) sale till 26 January. In a bid to lure more shoppers, it is offering guaranteed prizes to customers who shop above 1800. For Grofers, the GOBD sale this year is live for 11 days instead of the usual 9 days.

In the first two days of the sale, the grocery e-tailer saw close to 4 million visitors visiting its platform, with the highest number of visitors from large cities such as Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai among others.

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“We expanded our private label portfolio ahead of the sale by making new additions such as honey, sweets, noodles, dessert mixes, namkeens, spices, pulses, as well as personal care essentials including diapers and pads, conditioner, face scrubs, face wash, shower gel, kitchen towels, to our product portfolio,” said Albinder Dhindsa, CEO and co-founder, Grofers.

For Grofers, grocery, staples, personal care, biscuits and snacks were the top selling categories in the sale. Apart from supply chain and last-mile teams, the company has been managing the sale remotely.

Last year’s online festive sales, between mid-October and November, saw e-commerce firms including Flipkart Group and Amazon’s gross merchandise value (GMV) of goods sold touch $8.3 billion compared to $5 billion in 2019’s festive sales, according to Redseer.

2020 festive sales also saw 88% customer growth from the preceding year, with nearly 40 million shoppers from smaller cities shopping online.

In 2021, Redseer expects online commerce to contribute to almost 6% of the overall retail market, from 3%, at the start of 2020. It also expects e-tailing GMV to hit almost $140 billion by fiscal year 2025.

“This year, Myntra’s Right to Fashion Sale has generated strong traction on the platform so far, with the total visitors growing by 20% year-on-year, when compared to last year’s RTF sale. Encouragingly, demand has been nearly split when we analyse location-based demographics of the users, with 56% coming from the metro and tier 1 cities and the rest coming from tier 2 and Tier 3 markets,” said Ayyappan Rajagopal, head of business of online fashion marketplace Myntra.

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