Budget 2020

Festive sales: Covid-induced shift to ecommerce hits instant bank discounts for consumers

KOLKATA: The fallout of the expected shift to ecommerce due to the pandemic this festive season has seen instant bank discount for consumers shrink in e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart-owned Flipkart and Snapdeal.

The maximum instant bank discount at Amazon and Flipkart in the on-going first sale of the festive season is capped at Rs 1750 for credit cards and Rs 1250 for debit cards. For the first time ever, the discount amount has reduced drastically after the first two days and has less than halved to Rs 500 in Amazon for debit cards.

Till last year, the total bank discount used to be uniform in the total sale period and used to range up to Rs 2,000. Instant bank discounts lures consumers to shop more to avail bigger benefits and ensures returns or last minute cancellations are at a minimum.

Banks like HDFC, State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda and RBL Bank are some of the leading banks that have tied up with marketplaces to offer these instant bank discounts on credit and debit cards during the month-long festive season.

Three senior industry executives said the banks have wide-spread the discount by days to ensure repeat purchases by consumers.

They also said since bank discount is funded by banks and marketplaces jointly, per consumer discount amount has shrunk as they have not increased the discount budget expecting a massive surge in first time buyers including from smaller towns who could avail of the benefits.

A Snapdeal spokesperson said while the offers and extent of discounts are decided by the banks as per their marketing strategies, efforts at Snapdeal are focused towards maximising usability of these offers by making it easier to avail them.

He said the terms and conditions of bank discounts this year are non-restrictive, flexible and there are multiple options that cater to credit and debit cards from various banks so that users have a chance to apply multiple offers over the festive season.

Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO of SPPL, maker of the online-focused Kodak and Thomson TV brands, said bank discount will be lower this year as supplies remain a challenge while demand has shifted to e-commerce. “And most e-commerce payments have already shifted to digital methods and hence there is no need to offer many incentives,” he said.

Amazon and Flipkart did not respond to emails sent. Emails sent to HDFC Bank, SBI, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank amongst others too remained unanswered.