This year’s online festive sale, though similar to those held in the previous years, is slated to be different in many ways. The turmoil caused by the pandemic accelerated online adoption by sellers and customers alike. The ongoing sale serves as a litmus test for online ecommerce players, in the wake of the post-pandemic economic recovery and the gradual resumption of business operations in offline stores.

Our estimates indicate that e-commerce players would see a meteoric rise in fortunes, clocking a GMV of $9 billion, at a whopping 23 percent growth.

Let’s take a look at the emerging micro trends that are expected to take center stage during the festive season with a glimpse into the sentiments prevailing in the e-retail ecosystem.

1. Buoyed by bullish sentiments, over 75% customers are planning to buy equivalent to or more than last year

2020 was an unprecedented year for online sales. With the country under lockdown due to the onslaught of the pandemic, online witnessed massive adoption levels. Carrying forward this habit, this year too, we estimate that 75%+ customers plan to buy via digital platforms, along similar lines as last year across categories like mobiles, large appliances, beauty and fashion.

2. With a focus on achieving higher volume sales, sellers have announced huge discounts this festive season

Our research reveals that seller sentiments are equally optimistic this year. Many sellers are planning to offer ~10-30% discounts on platforms, with the goal of releasing higher volume sales. Sellers on both ecommerce and social commerce platforms have a favourable perspective of forecasted volume sales and growth during the upcoming festive season.

3. With an expansion in the warehouse infrastructure, delivery time is likely to witness a drastic drop by ~5 hours

With horizontal platforms rapidly scaling up their warehousing capabilities towards ensuring prompt delivery, the delivery time is expected to reduce by ~5 hours YoY.

4. With easy credit and instant affordability, BNPL schemes are likely to account for ~10-15% of sales this festive season

Buy Now Pay Later schemes are expected to continue to play a key role in contributing to enhanced sales. BNPL accounted for ~4-7% of sales last year but is well-poised to command a higher share i.e. ~10-15% of sales this year.

5. With offline channels yet to stabilize and yield predictable sales, brands have actively pursued the strategy of strengthening their online presence, alongside

After the pandemic, online brands witnessed a huge demand as offline stores shut down. Due to this, offline brands also rushed to strengthen their presence online. With this new change, festive sales will also see a definite impact this year as offline brands compete with native online brands via similar strategies to woo the customers.

As we saw the first week of sales wind up, this year’s festive looks quite geared up with bullish sentiments from both the consumers and the sellers. It will be no surprise if the ecosystem does more than expected this year with the festive mood around and the ecosystem echoing wave of optimism.

Improved consumer sentiments and a boost in sales bodes well for a consumption-demand driven economic recovery in the new normal.


  • Sanjay is an Associate Partner with Redseer Strategy and leads our Online Retail practise in the Benchmarks team. Sanjay is frequently quoted in the media as a thought leader in the Online Retail space and also leads client relationships in this space. Sanjay has also supported funds in their diligences in the areas of e-commerce, food-tech, and mobility. Sanjay worked with Tracxn before joining Redseer Strategy Consultants, where he led the Financials and Capable products. Prior to Tracn, he contributed to more than 50 consulting engagements, including those in project feasibility, investment banking, and strategy consulting. He has also written policy documents and served as a finance expert for numerous State and Central Government agencies. Sanjay enjoys spending time with his close friends and family, reading, and travelling.