The Mandatory Opinion Piece – The Flipkart Big Billion Sale…

6th October was a landmark day for online retail sales in India. People (read millennials mostly, although others were also involved) literally changed their daily schedules so that they could log on to flipkart.com the moment the much advertised Big Billion Day Sale opened.


 

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A first for Indian consumers and retailers alike, this sale was much awaited. The day came and went, and with it came many reactions. And all in all, the Big Billion Day was a big disappointment, it seems. Website crashes aside, it is Flipkart’s reputation on the line now.

Consumers had much to say on Flipkart’s no show regarding deals that were advertised. Many consumers have claimed that the discounts offered were not genuine.

A shopper tweeted, saying, “#bigbillionday its not too late yet @flipkart ! to save all the dignity & respect you had earned, just start giving away some real steals :).” This opinion was echoed by many who had high expectations from Flipkart.

Also, website glitches and logistics errors were proof that this might just have been another way to grab attention and make easy money. There was so much that could have been done with the idea of a Big Online Sale, especially as it has not been done in India before. But, it seems Flipkart did not have the best of contingency plans.

It is also being said that Flipkart did not offer deals as they were advertised. This seems to be something consumers are unhappy about. In fact, some products were out of stock, some weren’t listed at all, and then the comparison sites tell that online prices of certain products went up three days back to facilitate the sale.

The company said it sold goods worth $100 million (almost Rs 1 crore every minute) within 10 hours and its site recorded one billion hits. But good numbers, do not impressed retailers make.

Even the retailers and suppliers are not impressed with Flipkart right now. Top consumer goods players such as Samsung, Sony and LG, some of whom have suspended fresh sales to Flipkart are even considering legal action for what they term as “predatory pricing”.

The Big Billion Day did not live up to all the hype. And created a PR nightmare in the process. But Flipkart did send an apology letter to consumers explaining their side of the story.

At IntelligenceNODE we believe that Flipkart had a great advantage that day; and they have lost that particular battle. But will they lose the war as well? We would like to wait and watch!