Businesses love making vague statements. Nowhere is this more obvious than the Indian e-commerce pursuit, and especially during the annual festive season sales that inevitably turn into a highly publicized battle between Flipkart and Amazon India.
The companies will tell you they are No. 1 without actually revealing any qualitative information on what No. 1 means or on the market that awarded them the podium finish. Some will parade their significant reach in rural markets and count the city of Jamshedpur while they are at it. Then there are the pointers, dropped almost nonchalantly, but with the precise aim of dazzling a room or a presentation: pin codes, order volumes, category leadership, loyalty, gross merchandise value—the list is as vast as the marketing department’s payroll.
The simple truth is, you cannot make sense of a business and do annual comparisons without any defined standards. So we created some.
First, some essential background.