Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Amazon, Flipkart In 'budget' war

Both roll out identical campaigns as they gear up for sale season

Rajiv Singh
Published: Oct 8, 2018 02:27:51 PM IST
Updated: Oct 9, 2018 11:28:38 AM IST

Amazon, Flipkart In 'budget' war$3 bln is the amount Amazon and Flipkart are expected to generate in their annual sales, according to consulting firm Redseer
Image: Shutterstock  

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Nobody knows. Back home in India, the top two ecommerce players have rolled out identical campaigns pegged around ‘budget’. “Ab India ki khushiyon ke beech budget nahin ayeega [a budget will not come in the way of India’s happiness]” screams Amazon, announcing its campaign for Great Indian Festival sale starting October 10. Flipkart too has fi red its salvo for its flagship Big Billion Days: “Ab India hoga budget se mukt [Now India will be free of budget constraints]”. But the million dollar question is: Who copied whom?

Amazon didn’t reply to an email from Forbes India, while Flipkart could not be reached for comments.

While consumers always get swayed by sentiments of budgets, identical marketing campaigns blunts the advantage that each can have over the other, says Ashita Aggarwal, marketing professor at SP Jain Institute of Management and Research. With Amazon and Flipkart having equal brand equity and recall, a distinctive campaign would have helped them stand out. “It’s rare for rivals to copy each other in a manner where nobody gains,” she says.

Looks like, this festive season, there is nothing official about copy and paste.