In this era of lucrative discounts and easy buying processes, Dhanteras is no more limited to jewellery or utensil purchases. White goods, especially mobile phones, are witnessing a spike in sales during Dhanteras in recent years. This period is characterised by financial bonuses and incentives for the salaried class. According to market insiders, a large portion of that excess income is getting increasingly utilised in the purchase of white goods such as mobile phones.
Every leading e-commerce retailer gives attractive discounts on mobile phones during Dhanteras. From Amazon's ‘Great Indian Festival’ to Flipkart’s ‘Big Billion Day’, mobile phones are offered with large discounts. Such discounts also include premium brands like Apple and One Plus.
E-commerce platforms are linking these bonanza sales with festivals for the Indian market. Diwali and Dhanteras feature highly in the list of Indian festivals. Initially, Amazon had once-a-year mega sale. But taking into account its success rate and popularity, the e-commerce giant has initiated twice-a-year bonanza sale in 2018. One of their mega sales exclusively targets the Diwali-Dhanteras market. The craze of these sales are such that buyers often pre-book mobile phones as the discounted products often get sold within the first five to ten minutes of the discount hour.
In 2017, Flipkart received sales of around Rs. 1000 crore from mobile phones during its Big 10 Sale. According to Flipkart sources, the company had sold over seven lakh smartphones on the first day of that offer. This figure is around three times more than the usual daily mobile phone sale in India across online and offline channels.
Offline mobile retailers are suffering at the hands of online e-commerce giants during Dhanteras. They are unable to provide the same rate of discounts which are being offered by online players like Flipkart and Amazon. Prashant Agarwal, Director of Capital Electronics has told BE, people are eager to buy a phone that comes with low-cost EMI or gift cards. Sometimes their preferences switch according to these. The offline market price of Redmi 6A, a phone of Xiomi, is Rs. 6800 whereas online retailers like Amazon are selling it at around Rs. 5999. Buyers are predominantly choosing the online medium for the offered price benefit. Fuchun Mandal, the owner of a cell phone retail shop, told BE, “In the festive season, e-commerce retailers come with more offers as compared to offline players. Smartphones are hardly sold in our shops. That is why we bring in the product only when obtaining order confirmation from the buyer.”