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Flipkart sales run rate hits $3 billion



Despite frenetic sales growth, Flipkart is said to be losing about $10 million monthly largely due to it doling out excessive discounts to shoppers.

E-commerce major Flipkart is on course to clock annual sales of $3 billion on the back of exclusive tie-ups with mobile handset makers Motorola and Xiaomi, and its growing market share in the fashion category, signalling its rapid growth registered over the past few months. On Monday alone, during its much publicized Big Billion Day sale it registered $100 million in sales as shoppers bought 20 lakh products from the site.

Confirming that the online retailer had hit an annual run rate of $3 billion in sales last month itself, also known as gross merchandize value (GMV) in e-commerce parlance, Mukesh Bansal, CEO, Myntra & SVP, Flipkart Fashion, said the e-tailer was now gunning for a much bigger target by the year-end.

The Bangalore-based online commerce biggie, which is locked in a fierce battle with Amazon and Snapdeal, is expected to touch $5 billion in annual GMV by the end of financial year 2015, which will give it a substantial lead over its two competitors.

Despite frenetic sales growth, Flipkart is said to be losing about $10 million monthly largely due to it doling out excessive discounts to shoppers. This is also true for its two rivals, Amazon and Snapdeal - both of which are fighting Flipkart in a three-way e-commerce war.



It was only in March this year that Flipkart became the country's first online retailer to hit a billion dollars in sales - Snapdeal and Amazon followed suit. At the time of announcing the feat, Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart, had said that the seven-year-old company, which started off by selling books online, had achieved the target a year ahead. "In March 2011, we announced that by 2015 we wanted to hit $1 billion in GMV - at that point in time our run rate was $10 million," he had said then. "The exclusive tie-ups with mobile manufacturers, spurt in fashion sales post Myntra merger and growth of the Flipkart marketplace have helped us immensely in clocking this incredible 3x growth in run rate over the past six months," Mukesh Bansal said.

"Fashion as a category clocked about $700 million in sales and is on its way to becoming a billion-dollar business for us soon," he said. Bansal said the combined Myntra-Flipkart entity has cornered around 55% of market share in online fashion and apparel. "The merchant base for our marketplace has seen a growth of 8-10 times," he claimed. Both Amazon and Snapdeal operate on the pure-play marketplace model where third-party merchants use their platforms to sell directly to consumers. Flipkart, which was an inventory-led e-commerce player, changed its model to adhere to Indian FDI rules for online retail companies and became a marketplace only in 2012.

"This is a watershed moment for Indian retail and we hope to keep raising the bar going ahead," Bansal, who co-founded Myntra, told TOI on clocking $100 million in sales through its Big Billion Day offer on Monday.

Flipkart had unfurled a gargantuan advertising campaign, timing it with the visit of Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos as it put up huge billboards at the Bangalore airport, highways and close to Amazon's headquarters - places where Bezos was sure to notice them - for its festive season Big Billion Day sale.

It wasn't only Flipkart which registered more than brisk business on Monday. Delhi-based Snapdeal said it saw a spike of 10 to 15 times in its average daily sales over the past five days while e-commerce juggernaut Amazon, which has thrown the gauntlet at its competitors with huge investments in India, said its 'Mission to Mars' campaign saw a 100% increase in sales over the previous day on Monday.
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