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Flipkart still leads Amazon in sales value but not by much

27 April 2017

Although Amazon is now selling nearly as many items as Flipkart, the home-grown e-retail leader continues to outstrip the American company in terms of the total value of goods sold, while Alibaba-backed Paytm Mall and Shop-Clues are jostling for third position, The Economic Times reports.

Snapdeal, backed by Japan's SoftBank, which was India's third-largest online retailer, has slipped to fifth place in terms of volumes, signalling the change under way in one of the world's fastest-growing markets for digital commerce

In March Flipkart - which also owns fashion portals Myntra and Jabong - recorded an average of five lakh shipments every day while Amazon closed in with about 4.5 lakh daily shipments, according to several executives in the ecommerce and logistics industries interviewed by ET.

Snapdeal saw its volumes dip significantly to 30,000 a day from a high of 1.5 lakh daily shipments in March 2016, the sources said.

Shipments denote the total number of orders processed and dispatched by online retailers, including returns.

"Flipkart continues to remain ahead of Amazon India in terms of gross sales," the people cited above told ET.

While investors and analysts estimate that Flipkart's annualised gross merchandise value or GMV - a measure of the total value of products sold on the platform is at a little over $4 billion, sources close to the company said the Tiger Global-backed company clocked gross sales of $6 billion at the end of March 2017.

 Amazon's annualised GMV is expected to be over $3.2 billion, according to ET's sources familiar with the growth of the company. Online marketplaces typically earn a commission of 5-10 per cent on each item sold depending on the category.

"We continue to see tremendous momentum despite our scale, growing at about 85 per cent in Q1 this year. We cannot offer comment on any other financial details," said a representative for Amazon India in an emailed response.

Flipkart chief operating officer Nitin Seth said the group's GMV went up by over 45 per cent in March. He declined to share specific numbers. Snapdeal and Paytm declined comment.

This fierce battle for top honours in the $16-billion Indian online retail industry comes at a time when intense talks are under way to redefine the contours of the industry, led primarily by a proposed buyout of Snapdeal by Flipkart.

Separately, Paytm and Flipkart are looking to buy up FreeCharge, the digital payments arm of the Delhi-based company.

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