After a relatively slower-than-expected first quarter for etailers here, Amazon is clearing the decks for its flagship sale event Prime Day in India towards the end of July, people aware of the plans said. The US e-commerce major is hosting Prime Day globally on July 11-12, but is yet to formally announce the dates for India.
Sellers and brands have been told by Amazon executives to keep enough inventory for the sale later next month.
“Amazon has started placing orders for Prime Day in India for July. It will likely be in the second half of July but it is yet to be told formally. We are finalising the terms and keeping the products in warehouses,” one of the online sellers, who has his own brand, told ET. Multiple other online merchants echoed the same. Internally, the company has started testing Prime Day-related updates on the platform as well.
During the Covid years, Amazon would hold Prime Day on different dates in India compared to global markets such as the US, the UK and others.
Amazon India is likely to make an announcement for the event in the coming days, but a spokesperson for the company did not respond to ET’s query on the matter on Monday.
For Amazon, Prime Day is a crucial sale event to boost sales in the mid-year timeline before it starts work on the Diwali sales, which go on for a month. Prime Day is a 48-hour sale event. Typically, competitor Flipkart also runs a sale event to counter Amazon’s Prime Day around the same time to cash in on consumers looking for deals and nudge them to transact on the platform. Unlike its other sale events, Prime Day is only for Prime subscribers in India–who traditionally shop more on the platform than others.
After a relatively weaker Jan-March quarter, industry executives are expecting an uptick in sales in the second. “Q2 should be better given that the first quarter–which is usually slow–was slower than previous years. A sale event like Prime Day could lead to more transactions driven by deals, and it has its own marketing buzz given it’s a global event as well,” Satish Meena, a senior ecommerce analyst, said.
This year, Prime Day also comes at a time when Appario Retail – one of its largest sellers after Cloudtail stopped operations as an online merchant on Amazon – is scaling down operations as a seller and has been distributing its inventory among a smaller set of sellers, as reported by ET in April. Amazon owns a stake in Appario’s parent Frontizo Business, but said Appario too would end operations as a seller on Amazon India.
“These big sellers have been working with a smaller set of sellers but Cloudtail and Appario had established large-scale operations working smoothly with Amazon. The change even with a select set of smaller sellers will take some time to settle and that’s impacted Amazon’s overall sales,” said another person aware of Amazon India’s ongoing sales.
“This would be a good precursor to the Diwali sales and may give an indication of consumer appetite for the third quarter around festivals,” Meena added.
Amazon recently completed 10 years of operations in India. In an interaction with ET, Manish Tiwary – vice president and country manager of Amazon India’s consumer business – said the ecommerce firm is ‘optimistic’ and ‘committed to the Indian’ market despite the “ups and downs” it has faced in the last decade.