Ananya Bhattacharya, 22 June 2021
Online retail giants in India may soon have to play by new rules when it comes to offering discounts.
“No e-commerce entity shall organise a flash sale of goods or services offered on its platform,” says the amended version of India’s Consumer Protection Rules, 2020, released on June 22. The consumer affairs department describes a flash sale as one that offers “significantly reduced prices, high discounts or any other such promotions or attractive offers for a predetermined period of time on selective goods and services or otherwise with an intent to draw large number of consumers.”
There is no doubt that such sales increase revenue for the likes of Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart—even if it is mostly owing to the marketing blitzkrieg that hoodwinks consumers into spending big for small savings. The government’s concern, though, is that platforms manipulate these sales for big sellers using technological means. Meanwhile, the government also wants to protect brick-and-mortar retailers.