Why I love Flipkart?
Being a strong advocate of entrepreneurship and ‘Stop Brain Drain, Start Brain Gain’ concept, I have always loved Flipkart as a company and have had a good online buying experience with them until now. In just 8-9 years this company went from selling books to being a market leader and completely revolutionizing the Indian ecommerce industry, Flipkart has redefined big in many ways in the year 2014. Be it the big acquisition of Myntra (for an estimated $300 million), or the big funding of $1 billion, It has become the Big Daddy of the ever growing billion dollar Indian Ecommerce Industry and has made global big players like Amazon take notice.
What actually happened with me on #BigBillionDay?
Backdrop: Like everyone I too was geared up for a once-in-a-lifetime sale thanks to massive Flipkart PR of the #BigBillionDay.
7:45 am: Flipkart becomes ‘FraudKart’ and then ‘EmptyKart’ 😦
- Logged into Flipkart. At sharp 8 am I clicked on all the deals that was being offered at a price of Rs 1 to Rs 99/- but to my surprise whenever I clicked on Buy it said ‘Out of Stock.’ I didn’t really understand how come in few secs/mins all this product was ‘Out of Stock.’
- After all, so many are trying at the same time. Hard luck, may be. With this thought I clicked on other products and found out that the price of that product was automatically increasing in every few secs or mins.
- The information on the website was misleading. The cart was not been updated real time. The user experience on the website was really bad. Most of the product was either ‘Out of Stock’ or it gave a ‘Server error’ message. I tried my best for 30 mins and then I gave up.
9:00 am – Till evening: Snapdeal and Amazon trolls on Flipkart with an amazing marketing strategy.
- On my way to office I read Snapdeal’s amazing counter marketing strategy on Flipkart with it’s full size ad in Times of India that stated “For other’s it’s a big day, for us, today is no different. Check Snapdeal.com before you buy”.
- In the evening it was Amazon’s turn, they purchased the domain bigbillionday.com and temporarily redirected to amazon.in. They have removed the redirection now. A very strategic move to divert traffic and sales conversion to Amazon using Flipkart’s trended keyword 🙂 Sheer Masterstroke from Amazon.
A day after #BigBillionDay? – Flipkart touches it’s ‘CustomersHeart’ by apologizing for it’s #BigBillionDay Goof up
We all make mistakes and Flipkart understood that there was a big threat to it’s long term brand recognition and in the process tried it’s best to make amends by sending out an apology to all of it’s customers.
You can read the entire text of the apology letter by clicking here
Who won? Who lost? My Analysis:
- Flipkart had created an Indian e-commerce history by achieving its sales target of $100 million (Rs 600 crore) in sales in just 10 hours but it’s biggest sale was selling it’s credibility with it’s overhyped PR, over-promising too and under-delivering too less 😦
- Flipkart should have maintained complete transparency by having enough stock or should have mentioned besides the product listing the total quantity of the products available or remaining real time.
- Is it the e-Way? The other big e-commerce players like Snapdeal and Amazon.in cashed in to Flipkart’s aggressive #BigBillionDay advertising and gained an edge by making record sales too. Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl said that Snapdeal sold goods worth Rs 1 crore per minute. According to this piece in the Economic Times, Swati Bhargava, CEO of CashKaro, an online cash back site which directs user traffic to e-commerce sites claimed that Amazon was the most trending site on #BigBillionDay.
- Unhappy Flipkart’s customers showed their dissatisfaction with their social uproars and online bashing. Below are some of their tweets:
My Final Verdict:
But being an ardent admirer of Flipkart team led by its visionary founders and what it has achieved as a company in just few years I am very much hopeful that it will learn from it’s mistakes and bounce back stronger and regain it’s lost brand value and credibility. Their earnest apology letter is their 1st step in correcting their mistakes.
As a consumer, I cannot wait for the Big Billion Day in 2015. The battle among the three giants will be bigger and the discounts for all of us will be steeper.
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