Amazon holds biggest Prime Day sale in India amid Covid-19 pandemic

More than twice as many customers signed up for a Prime membership during Prime Day 2020 compared to the last Prime Day

Amazon India held the biggest Prime Day sale event amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, helped by a very large number of small and medium businesses (SMB) adopting its e-commerce platform and an increasing number of people buying online.

The e-commerce firm said the 48-hour Prime Day event was the biggest for SMB sellers and Prime members in terms of new member sign-ups, and for engagement with Prime benefits.

Amazon witnessed the highest ever SMB participation. Over 91,000 SMBs, artisans, weavers and women entrepreneurs from over 5,900 pin codes achieved the highest ever day of sales during the Prime Day. Of these, more than 62,000 sellers were from non-metro and Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities across India.

About 31,000 SMB sellers witnessed their highest sales ever with over 4,000 SMB sellers each registering sales of Rs 10 lakh or more. The company said about 209 SMB sellers became crorepatis during the 48-hour event which ended on Friday night. Amazon declined to share further information about these sellers or the total amount of sales generated during the event.

“This Prime Day was dedicated to our small business (SMB) partners, who have been increasingly looking to Amazon to keep their businesses running,” said Amit Agarwal, senior vice president and country manager, Amazon India. “We are humbled that we were able to help as this was our biggest Prime Day ever for small businesses – nearly 1 Lakh SMB sellers (70 per cent from small towns) received orders from across 97 per cent of India’s pin-codes,” he said.

Amazon Prime is a subscription membership to Amazon that offers customers premium services. More than twice as many customers signed up for a Prime membership during Prime Day 2020 compared to the last Prime Day. There were over 65 per cent of new members from outside of the top 10 cities. These included towns like Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, Leh in Ladakh, Dholpur and Sirohi in Rajasthan. The other such locations included Koraput in Odisha, Mokokchung in Nagaland, Garo hills in Meghalaya, Gadag in Karnataka, Nagappatinam in Tamil Nadu and Panna in Madhya Pradesh.

Amazon India recorded 10 times sales during Prime Day 2020 as compared to pre-Covid-19 daily sales, according to sources. The event was hosted in India before the US market. It is the first event that was handled by the Amazon India team virtually while working from home. It had a 48-hour war room set up on the communication platform Amazon Chime.

“One of the important elements at Amazon is to learn from each other. With everyone working from home, we created mechanisms which allowed our tools to operate well virtually,” said Akshay Sahi, director and head of Prime, Amazon India. “Our business and operation control rooms were all virtual. Of course, there are a lot of learnings from it and we would share those learnings with other marketplaces,” he said.

The company sent snack boxes to the core team members handling the Prime Day event every day to boost their morale. What also kept the employees and customers engaged was Amazon Funnies, a Prime Day Special where 14 stand-up comedians, each performing a set of ten-minutes were released every hour.

During the event, artisans and weavers, who sell their unique handmade collection through Amazon Karigar store, witnessed a growth of 6.7X. Women entrepreneurs from the Saheli program witnessed a growth of 2.6X over average day sales. Similarly, startup brands under the Launchpad programme grew by 2.1X over their average day sales.

Over a thousand local shops from over 100 cities made their Prime Day debut, growing by 2X over average day sales. Over 1 million Prime members shopped from small businesses in the 14-day lead up to Prime Day, further helping them with their business revival.

“I have witnessed the biggest surge in my entire lifetime of selling on Amazon,” said Arjun Sood, Dream of Glory Inc, an apparel brand under Launchpad. “We saw jaw-dropping numbers on Prime Days and it exceeded our projections by 10X,” he said.

Amazon helped Sood deliver products across the country right from Leh in Ladakh to Port Blair.

For Aman Gupta, co-founder of consumer electronics firm boAt, known for its earphones, speakers and travel chargers, this sale was distinctively special as the firm launched its ‘Made in India’ power banks which became bestsellers during the event.

“We received a phenomenal response during this year’s Amazon Prime Day sale,” said Gupta.

There were new launches with 300 top brands and 150 unique products from SMB sellers during the event. Prime members had access to brands such as Milagrow robotic vacuum cleaners and Smart Saver pulse oximeter. The other brands included Onida (HDLED TV), Trytook baking Moulds and Liomes hand juicers.


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