Internet users who typed BigBillionDay.com in their browser were surprised when it led to Amazon.in, sparking rumours that the US e-commerce giant had made a tongue-in-cheek attempt to hijack Flipkart’s much-hyped The Big Billion Day Sale. However, the company has now officially denied that they bought the domain name. Though this means the question of why the URL leads to Amazon’s India website, still remains a mystery.
Amazon kicked off its 30-day ‘Online Shopping Dhamaka’ on September 21. As part of the Online Shopping Dhamaka, Amazon.in had dedicated the weekend of 4-6 October 2014 to the success of India’s Mangalyaan mission by hosting a ‘Mission to Mars’ weekend for customers in India. Starting October 10, Amazon will continue the festive offerings with the Diwali Dhamaka Week.
In fact, the recently held ‘Mission to Mars’ campaign on its last day co-incided with The Big Billion Day. If Amazon is to be believed, it did not trouble them. Said an Amazon spokesperson, “On its last day, the ‘Mission to Mars’ campaign witnessed a 100 per cent increase in sales over the previous day. It was our biggest day ever and we believe it is due to the introduction of Dhamaka deals every hour through the day and ensuring the availability of the deals advertised.”
The spokesperson further said that since the kick-off of the Online Shopping Dhamaka, they have witnessed a week-on-week increase of over 150 per cent in the number of customers who have taken advantage of deals with consumer electronics (including PC), books, shoes, home & kitchen, baby and health & personal care the top performing categories in the last two weeks. However, since Amazon has not provided sales figures, it is difficult to make a direct comparison with Flipkart or Snapdeal.
The Big Billion Day Sale saw sales in the region of $100 million gross merchandise value (GMV) in the space of 10 hours claimed Flipkart, though there was a lot of sharp criticism about out of stock products and frequent crashes.
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Amazon is slugging it out with Flipkart and Snapdeal in the Indian e-commerce market that is expected to reach $9 billion by 2016. The indigenous Flipkart and Snapdeal are both flush with funds having raised significant investments this year and though both have still to report profits, their growth in terms of revenue and marketshare has been incredible over the last couple of years. Amazon, on the other hand, is an acknowledged giant and visionary in the e-commerce space. It recently announced a $2 billion investment in India, a fact that was further enforced (rather dramatically) by founder and CEO Jeff Bezos during his India visit last month.