Mobile Sales Set to Peak with Just Days Left for Diwali

Criteo’s Diwali guide highlights the most important things that will help brand and retailer sales shine before, during and after Diwali.
Updated on January 30, 2019

As we enter the Diwali festival week, mobile share of online sales are set to peak in India.

Diwali is the prime shopping period for Indians, as the Thanksgiving to New Year period is in the West. All major online marketplaces in India have announced big festival sales with Amazon’s “Great Indian Festival” sale, Flipkart’s “Big Diwali Sale”, and Snapdeal’s “Unbox Diwali Sale” running with just days before the festival. It has been reported that due to the increased pressure to deliver items in time for Diwali, delivery boys in India are having to distribute up to 200 packages in a day.

In the weeks leading to Diwali, online shopping via mobile sees a strong surge, but the highest uplift (79%*) in mobile share is likely to be on Oct 19, the day of Diwali. And understandably so, as not many Indians will be looking at their PCs or laptops during the festival but will almost all still be using their smartphones looking to nab a big discount or complete their last-minute shopping for the festival.

Indexed Share of Mobile Sales


Mobile apps will account for a big proportion of these festival sales. The uplift in the share of sales from mobile apps was 61%* on Diwali in 2016. Further, according to our Retail Week study “App Commerce Goes Big in Asia-Pacific”, more than 60% of Indian smartphone users are buying 2-5 times a month using retail and shopping apps.

The strongest performing product categories during Diwali sales are jewelry, luxury goods, and apparels and accessories – with gifts, flowers and home goods also showing a good uplift in sales.

Targeted display and in-app marketing will help retailers reach more consumers and win more sales this Diwali.

In Criteo’s informative Diwali guide, we highlight the most important things that will help brand and retailer sales sparkle and shine — before, during, and after the festival.

* Diwali 2016 (October 30) sales compared with average daily sales during Apr-May 2016. Criteo identified these trends through the analysis of over 4.8 million shopping transactions across desktop, smartphones and tablets from retail advertisers in India. Mobile sales include sales via mobile websites and apps – both on smartphones and tablets.

Shailendra Pandey

Shailendra is a Principal Research Manager at Criteo and manages major research projects producing thought-leadership content in collaboration with leading research partners.

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