Industry

Flip(ped)kart

Disgruntled shoppers were scathing in their criticism of Flipkart. Their anger turned to crackling humour, churning out jokes in social media.

The offline retailers have sought regulation of e-commerce by the Centre.



They have already written to the Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanding that e-commerce be regulated.



This demand comes in the wake of the much hyped “Big Billion Day” sale by online retailer Flipkart on Monday left customers unhappy and furious. Flipkart itself termed it a success though.



The sale started at 8:00 a.m. offering extravagant discounts - as much as 90 per cent - on several popular products ranging from cosmetics to apparels and electronics.



Most online buyers, however, found stocks running dry minutes after the sale commenced. Frustrated, they announced that they would rather shop with rivals Snapdeal and eBay. Thanks to the `Big Billion Day’’ sales offer, Flipkart was trending on Twitter through the day. Nevertheless, it was constantly behind rival Snapdeal’s >#CheckSnapdealToday, which remained the top trend in India. Another rival eBay, with # AsliDealsONeBay, was not far behind either.



Disgruntled shoppers were scathing in their criticism of the home-grown retail giant. As the day progressed, their anger turned to crackling humour, churning out jokes in social media at a relentless pace. Sample these:



“Huge discount on Sold Out products,” tweeted a online buyer.





“'Sold out' is to Flipkart what “Please try again later” is to IRCTC,” another tweeted.













Did the festive ambush marketing trick - with a multi-crore advertising campaign waking readers up on a lazy Monday morning - work for Flipkart? Or did it end-up driving dissatisfied shoppers to rivals Snapdeal and Amazon? The debate has only begun.





Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal sounded happy with the sale and thanked shoppers. “…unprecedented day for us…we got a billion hits on our site today and achieved our 24-hour sales target of $100 million in gross merchandise value in just 10 hours. We are truly humbled by the immense faith our customers have shown in us,” the duo said in a release.





Rival Snapdeal said it had a record-breaking day of sales on Monday. “We witnessed sales of over a crore rupee a minute, with lakhs of products being sold in a single day,” Kunal Bahl, Co-Founder and CEO of Snapdeal.com, said in a statement. “The best part of the day: we didn't really spend much to bring customers to Snapdeal,” he quipped tongue-in-cheek, taking a dig at Flipkart’s ad blitz. “Today (Monday), on the last day of our ‘Mission to Mars’ campaign, we have witnessed a 100% increase in sales since yesterday,” Amazon India said in a statement.





According to a PTI report, traders’ body CAIT asked the Commerce and Industry Ministry to take steps to monitor and regulate online businesses. In a letter to Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, National General Secretary of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Praveen Khandelwal has called for the setting up of a regulatory authority for e—commerce business in India. “We invoke your kind and immediate attention to ongoing sale offers conducted by various e—commerce companies since last three days...they are offering discounts from 20 per cent to 70 per cent, whereas traders are forced to sell same products in offline markets at a higher prices since their purchase price is on a very higher side,” he said in his letter.





(With inputs from Mahim Pratap Singh, Sanjay Vijaykumar and Pradeep Nair)

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 1:29:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/flippedkart/article6476414.ece

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