What Amazon.in And Snapdeal.com Should Learn From The FlipKart Blunder

What Amazon.in And Snapdeal.com Should Learn From The FlipKart BlunderFlipkart’s Big Sale was talk of the town yesterday. According to Bansals, the sale proved to be very beneficial for their business and issued a statement that says, “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.”

But was yesterday’s sale really a milestone that Flipkart should be proud of? Yes, the eCommerce giant received a lot of hits and great orders, but at the same time was bashed heavily on social networking websites for not-so-great reasons. Twitter and Facebook were flooded with consumer tweets and posts from various customers who called Flipkart a ‘fakester’ and alleged that the big sale is merely an eye wash. Some accused that Flipkart had increased the prices of certain products before the sale and was offering discounts on these inflated prices. And then there were people, who compared deals that the competitor websites like Snapdeal were offering and made a startling revelations like a 13-inch Apple Mac was available for Rs 4,000 lesser on snapdeal.com compared to the deal that FlipKart was offering.
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What does this all tell us about the eCommerce world, and especially online consumers? It simply tells that the online consumers are way smarter than eCommerce stalwarts can think of. Yes, Flipkart did manage to garner a sales target of over $100 million (GMV) in just 10 hours of sale, but one can’t ignore the reputation damage that the sale had done to the eCommerce giant. Flipkart could have easily avoided it by planning the big day better. Here are 4 lessons that other eCommerce websites such as Amazon India and Snapdeal can learn from FlipKart’s blooper.

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Online consumer is smart
The online customer is incredibly smart. The young generation is intelligent enough to compare things online before buying. They would go to other eCommerce sites to check the prices of the goods. If you’re telling them to come to your website, make sure you have something to offer that others don’t have. For instance you can sell products at much lower prices as possible.

Don’t increase and then decrease
Many complained and joked about this on Twitter and Facebook. FlipKart had allegedly increased the prices of products and then were giving discounts on these prices. One has to realise that you just cannot take the consumer for a ride on the online platform; they will go to other websites and check tags. A dozen other websites are selling the same product after all. You should think smart and do what the offline stores do, where customers have no other way of comparing prices.

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Make sure you deliver
If you had made a promise of giving discounts for full 24 hours, keep it. It really doesn’t go down well with the consumers when they see messages such as ‘out of stock’ and ‘no availability’ within minutes of sale. And that is what exactly happened at FlipKart. If you are planning such a big sale, then you better be stocked up with all the goods and make sure you deliver.

Keep your servers up & running
The worse thing that can happen on your big day is that servers stop responding or are not ready for such heavy loads. The same happened with Flipkart sigh! Get couple of additional servers, leverage the power of Cloud if needed be, but don’t leave things to chance. If you do, then you’ll have angry and dissatisfied customers.