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Online retailers in India are expected to generate approximately $6.5 billion (Rs 47,751 crore) in sales during the festive month (October 15-November 15), with around 5.5-6 crore online buyers participating, a new report forecast on Thursday.

About 75 per cent of these sales will occur from October 15-21, the period in which Flipkart will hold its ‘Big Billion Days’ event and Amazon’s ‘Great Indian Festival’ sale will start on October 17, according to the report by global market research firm Forrester.

“The growth in online retail spending during the festive month will see a growth of 34 per cent (year-over-year),” said Satish Meena, Senior Forecast Analyst.

There has been a fundamental shift in buying behaviour, with consumers having developed a general averseness to go out and latched on to online channels.

“The inhibitions of buying online are gone, and a transformation that would have taken two years has happened in five months. With sharp contraction in the economy and a pressured job market, consumers flocked to online channels to get the best bargains,” Meena elaborated.

Some pent-up demand from the lockdown period was let out during the Prime Day sales event in August, but “we expect a lot of demand in consumer electronics, home appliances, smartphones, and home furnishing to drive more sales during the festive month”.

“We also expect an increase in share of purchase from tier 2 and 3 cities due to migration of employees to smaller cities as offices are closed,” said Sanjeev Kumar, Forecast Analyst at Forrester.

Due to Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown, retail and recreation-related mobility saw its highest decline for the month of April.

Most of these are likely to be micro, small, and medium enterprises, which are increasingly recognising a greater potential for sales as the pandemic drives more people to shop online.

“Attractive festive deals and product discounting along with flexible payment options will boost affordability for consumers, hence making it another successful festive-year period for e-tailers in India,” he added.

Also Read: India Set To Be A Top Investment Choice: Survey

Also Read: India Inc skeptical of govt’s plan to push festive demand

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