Flipkart is all set to host its second Big Billion Day Sale on October 13. It’s scheduled to last until October 17. The company is believed to have been ramping up its preparations to ensure everything goes smooth. And why not, it definitely has more than one reason for doing so.
After the whole drama that unfolded last year, the company surely doesn’t want to mess up consumer expectation and experience for the second time. Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale last year was more of a big disaster day sale for most of its customers. However, Flipkart laughed its way to the bank with Rs 600 crore worth of sales, despite customer ire compelling the company to issue an apology email.
From marked up prices and constant ‘out of stock’ woes to selling some products really cheap and annoying big brands, the sale days were no less than a big drama, which left people red faced for days.
Earlier this year, Flipkart CEO and co-founder Sachin Bansal, said the Big Billion day sale, which had participation from 1.5 million shoppers, was a huge learning experience. A newTimes of India report highlights that the company is now ramping up logistics to ensure the user experience is smooth and hassle-free. Considering the festive season, the company will have 19,000 delivery boys and will cover more than 20,000 pin codes across the nation.
One of the consistent complain has been how Flipkart cannot handle the traffic during big sales or festive season. Looks like, the company is taking care of this as well. “On an average, we get about 75% of our traffic through mobile-only devices. We expect it to peak during the discount sale to over 80%,” said Nagori. However, the company has reportedly added its own data centres across major metros to manage online traffic during this app-only sale.
Another issue has been the ‘out of stock’ problem. Having majority of the products under sale out of stock within hours of the start of the sale didn’t really add any feathers to Flipkart’s cap last year. The company now plans to combat the problem by asking sellers to keep a larger number of goods ready. Moreover, unlike last year, the company won’t sell devices for prices as low as Rs 1 and instead sell a larger number of products at lower prices. This way it won’t face the ire of offline retailers and bigger brands who’ve been asking Flipkart to explain how it has managed to sell devices at such lower prices.
Well, this isn’t all. The company went app-only earlier this year and the decision saw a bitter-sweet reaction from users across the nation. Many users weren’t happy with this move and took to twitter to vent out their frustration. Flipkart is restricting users to just one platform – mobile app – by abandoning shopping from desktops. After all, for those consumers (whether small or large) comfortable with a desktop should be allowed to do so.
Flipkart also faced a lot of public ire most recently for supporting Airtel’s Zero marketing platform that goes against Net Neutrality. From downvoting its app to facing backclash on Twitter, the company’s support for Airtel Zero didn’t go down well with net neutrality supporters. Flipkart has finally decided to pull out of Airtel Zero. In an official statement issued by the company, Flipkart says it ‘strongly believes in the concept of net neutrality’ and after a lot of debate has finally decided to walk away from the ongoing discussion with Airtel for the platform Zero.
Through the year Flipkart has been hitting headlines for all wrong reasons, but it is nice to see that the company has ensured to listen to its users and make amendments accordingly. Moreover, it shouldn’t forget e-commerce is growing bigger and bigger in India and so is the competition in this space. After a year like this, Flipkart has no room for mistakes and should take all precautions to ensure it doesn’t end up in a mess again.