India is a melting pot of numerous cultures, religions, languages, ethnicities and festivals. There are festivals celebrated all the year round. However, October and November are the months when the whole country is in a festive mood simultaneously. Two of the biggest Hindu festivals are celebrated around this time of the year, which is not confined to Hindus but it also ropes in people from various religious and cultural backgrounds. The two major festivals are Durga Puja/ Navaratri and Diwali.
Durga Puja or Navaratri as called in most parts of the country is a 9-day worship of Goddess Durga and it ends with Dusshehra on the 10th day. This makes the celebration one of the longest festivals in the world and also one of the most celebrated ones. The other major festival, Diwali or The Festival of Lights, is celebrated just after 14 days of Dusshehra. This is the time Indian spend most of their shopping budget. According to data, Indians spend most on Gold, Silver, Electronics, Automobiles and Textiles during this period.
India, as we know, is a huge market and its e-commerce sector has seen a steep growth in the last few years as the disposable income of households are increasing significantly. According to a report published by Economics Club IMI, Flipkart, which is India’s largest e-commerce player, registered almost double sales during the festival sales of 2017 compared to 2016. Amazon registered a 150% increase in sales of smartphones and 3.7 times increase in sales of large appliances.
An observation has been made recently in the Indian newspapers regarding the placements of advertisements by various players. The placements of the advertisements during the peak festive season (October-November) are as follows:
- The first few pages have the advertisements of E-Commerce websites, Flipkart and Amazon.
- The middle pages generally have huge advertisements for Korean or Japanese companies.
- The pages near the end carry the advertisements of Chinese companies.
This pattern reflects upon the financial and influential strength of various players in the Indian market. The largest players such as Flipkart and Amazon hold their annual sales during the festive season. Flipkart has their ‘Big Billion Days’ and Amazon has their ‘Great Indian Festival’.
Japanese, South Korean or the American brands in the electronics sector are all present in the Indian market for a very long time. Some brands are here for over 2 decades now and their financials are very strong to spend huge amounts on traditional media such as newspaper advertisements. However, the upcoming Chinese brands in the electronics sector are new in India and their financials are not very strong to put up huge ads that cover a page or two in a national newspaper. This is the reason they focus on digital ads, which allow them to reach out to a large number of customers at a minimal cost. To capture the traditional market, the Chinese players use a different strategy. Here are the examples of two Japanese brands’ advertisement.
South Korea has emerged as a leader in the Home appliances and consumer electronics sector especially due to their two largest brands namely, Samsung and LG. These brands have an extensive network in India to reach out to even the remotest of customers in India. These brands focus on offline sales as they know that Indian still prefer to buy big home appliances from offline stores instead of e-commerce websites. Here is the advertisement for LG, which is the second largest technology conglomerate from South Korea.
We have already discussed that the initial pages are covered by the advertisements of the e-commerce players. However, it should be noted that the e-commerce players apart from their announcements of discounts, also put up some of their best products and most selling brands, which generally are the Chinese players.
Indian retail market is also very huge and there are many opportunities for companies in this market. The largest players in the Indian retail market are Future Group’s Big Bazaar and Reliance Industries’ Reliance Retail, which has their Reliance Digital. These two brands are in a fierce competition to sell as much as they can during the festive season. The advertisements placed by both the players in the Times of India are as follows: