Flipkart’s much awaited Big Billion Day happened today. One could have hardly missed the massive advertisements both online and offline. From billboards to newspaper ads to Television to online ads, Flipkart managed to cover every marketing spot to spread the word about its mega birthday sale. Result? It succeeded in bringing customers to its site for sure, however disappointed them in return.
— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) October 6, 2014
How to take revenge from #flipkart ? “Order hundreds of products on Cash on Delivery on wrong address”. :p :p
— I Love U Riya Somani (@Yuvi_loves_Alia) October 6, 2014
— $um331 (@sumeet_srj) October 6, 2014
Unavailability of products weren’t the only cause for concern, there were heaps of technology issues as well.
This was not the first time that Flipkart failed on its loyal customers, on the launch of Moto G it faced similar issues. People faced several crashes and errors throughout the site, it would not have been this severe had the company not hyped the sale so much. Many smart consumers who use price trackers pointed out that many listed products were cheaper on the day before the sale, this spread like wildfire on the social media.
Also, the founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal have issued the following statement about the Big Billion Day today.
The Big Billion Day is an unprecedented day for us as this is the biggest sale ever in India. We are delighted by the overwhelming response from our customers since 8 am today. With a range of exciting offers on quality products at disruptive prices available throughout the sale period, we have created history in Indian e-commerce.
Our technology team has been dedicated towards addressing errors and providing constant support to accommodate the largest scale of traffic and customer visits e-commerce has witnessed across the country.
Our teams and sellers worked days and nights to make this sale a success – and our efforts paid off. We got a billion hits on our site today and achieved our 24 hour sales target of $100 mn in GMV in just 10 hours.
We are truly humbled by the immense faith our customers have shown in us. And this inspires us to dream bigger.
Looking at the negative reactions by the consumers, it isn’t clear how much Flipkart has really gained. Some upset users went ahead to create a hate page on Facebook (See Below)
It’s not entirely clear if this was really made by the users or was a strategy by its competition. Talking about the competition, Snapdeal saw today as a great opportunity to pull down its rival marketplace. Although it had not made any notable marketing moves against the Big Billion Day in the past one month. But today in the morning itself it sent out a teaser on the front page of The Times of India, right next to Flipkart’s ad.
Although Flipkart’s technical glitches surely caused the traffic to divert to Snapdeal. Snapdeal’s own deals weren’t that lucrative either. These e-commerce giants have to understand that people don’t want 80-90% discount, they want honest deals where they get what they see. Snapdeal customers retaliated the same issue, the prices of several products on the product page and elsewhere didn’t match.
— Himanshu Sharma (@shrmahimanshu) October 6, 2014
— Benita Bhatia Dua (@benitadua) October 6, 2014
— NB (@nilu197) October 6, 2014
Nonetheless, on an up side, Snapdeal still got to ride on Flipkart’s issues and sent #CheckSnapdealToday trending in India, even above of #BigBillionDay. Flipkart needs to gear up its technology to the level its marketing teams work, the same could be said for Snapdeal. Are these companies forgetting what ‘e’ in e-commerce stand for?
Today seemed like the first major battle of the e-commerce biggies in the country, and both the teams were not into fair play. Luring customers with big promises, only to lead them to something that doesn’t exist is not the best customer acquisition strategy. Since neither of the players will come out with an honest picture of how they fared, it can’t be said who managed to gain the loyalists from other parties. However, today’s event was surely an eye-opener for all the shopping enthusiasts in the country.