Along with their 'bottom' lines, online retailers are now also feeling the pressure right in their gut. First Flipkart pushed the knife into Amazon's side by saying that it relies on hing (asofetida) and churan (digestive powder) to achieve its last minute sale targets and then it twisted the knife ever so slightly when it claimed that it had won the epic festive sales battle with 15.5 million units sold as opposed to Amazon's 15 million. “Flipkart’s total units sold include only physical goods and do not include virtual membership and low-cost items like churanhing, candy, detergent bar and eggs!,” a Flipkart spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Mint.

 

Amazon India chief Amit Agarwal responded to this elitist but epic snub by saying that compared to Flipkart, Amazon had achieved many milestones in three years which Flipkart still struggles to achieve despite launching more than 8 years ago. Agarwal also said that he was proud that customers were shopping for hing and churan on Amazon along-with mobile phones and televisions.

 

Flipkart, also claimed that the company recorded its highest-ever single day sales and has sold products worth ₹1,400 crore, Times of India reported. "Crossing the ₹1,000-crore mark was a milestone for the company which began life by selling books nine years ago," the ToI report said quoting Flipkart's co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal.

 

 

Not one to be left behind, Amazon, which started its 5-day special online sale started on October 1 claimed that it has seen six times growth over its regular business. Soon after this, Flipkart, also said that the number of product units sold in the first 6 hours of sale surpassed the total units sold in a day during the last years sale. Snapdeal claimed nearly 11 lakh buyers from over 2,800 cities and towns across India used its platform in the first 16 hours of its sale.

 

 

On the market-share and customer loyalty front, a recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch stated that despite Flipkart's larger presence in India, the Indian consumers seem to prefer Amazon over Flipkart.

 

 

 Currently, Flipkart has about 43% of India’s e-commerce market, while Amazon has about 28% share, estimates Merrill.

 

 

 

Merrill's online survey of 1,000 consumers found that 52% of consumers preferred Amazon, 34% chose Flipkart and only 8% picked Snapdeal. Merrill estimates that by 2019, the US e-commerce giant can control 37% of the $43 billion e-commerce market in India.

 

 

 

“Contrary to the general perception, our survey indicated that the users have started to develop brand loyalties, as only 4% of the users went to the cheapest offer,” noted Merrill.