Much has already been written by people and publishers about the FlipKart #BigBillionDay sale that started yesterday (October 6, 2014) at 8am with an aim to achieve sale of 1 billion in a day. Here’s a look at how it rolled –
Before the campaign, there was huge promotion of the sale on every possible medium- online and offline, including huge billboards at places like inside airport! As a result, there was already a lot of buzz on various social channels about the sale and the #BigBillionDay started trending on twitter since morning.
The competitors didn’t stay behind as they too came up with their deals and promoted them. While Snapdeal ran a campaign with the tagline: “For others it’s a big day. For us, today is no different.” Amazon started a sale on 4th till 6th October, calling it the Mission to Mars weekend.
The people went crazy to buy things and the website servers went down along. This all happened with various complains of orders disappearing, products going out of stock, amidst a lot of vigilant users presenting the pricing scam that Flipkart followed by increasing the prices unreasonably high to show the small discount offered as really huge! Within 2-3 hours the social networks were flooded with lot of complains, funny status updates/tweets about Flipkart failure. Online Publishers storified them and got good views!
What FlipKart Actually Did!
Flipkart had already created a lot of buzz and they actually played in three ways-
- For most of the items, they increased prices unreasonably high and even after discount sold at higher prices than, say a fortnight back.
- For many other they showed original price very high and after discount sold at an actual discount of 7-8% (off course claiming as 40-50%)
- For few others, they actually offered good discount like on some cameras, watches and tees etc. A few people also claimed to get iPhone 5 in INR 12K!
By noon almost all the stuff was shown as out of stock, and FlipKart even cancelled a few successful orders. Though I have no proof/official information, but perhaps this happened due to their target completion and then they had supply chain limitation as well. Getting orders is one thing, supplying them within time is another!
In the meantime, while the Snapdeal and Amazon promoted their deals, people frustrated with FlipKart reached to its competitors and they too got a lot of traffic and perhaps sale too!
So Who Won in this Campaign
Despite a whole lot of tweets/articles claiming it to be a scam, nightmare, a PR Disaster for FlipKart, I guess they did pretty well. The co-founders claimed so, and the Google trends too revealed the same!
Who else won it? Well, except those who tried to buy something and couldn’t, all other won here; be it FlipKart, its competitors, all online and offline publishers (newspaper, news portals, TV channels etc.) or above all consumers. They had all the options to compare other sites and buy only if they were getting it cheapest on Flipkart,even if the discounts were not as high as claimed by brand! And now the retail stores too will be forced to give good discounts to have customers!
But, What about the negative PR?
Well, we all have a really short memory . . . Have we stopped eating pizzas from Domino’s or stopped getting patients treated at Fortis after their fiasco popularized with #ShameOnFortis hashtag (and these were really bigger & bad issues)? so despite all the rant, when FlipKart will again come with yet another sale on 10th October, we will still see people line up for getting deals!
Do you think, this campaign did more harm to FlipKart than good? Would love to see your views in comments.