Flipkart: What you didn’t know

[blockquote source=”Flipkart”]This Deepavali, we are starting the fireworks early by holding India’s biggest ever 1-day sale- Flipkart’s THE BIG BILLION DAY SALE (06 October, 8 AM onward). On this day, we’ll have over 70 categories to shop from, with flash sales, deals of the hour, lucky draws every hour and unprecedented offers and discounts to look forward to. With The Big Billion Day Sale, Flipkart is out to eclipse all other festive multi-day sales over just one single day![/blockquote]

These words were enough to attract millions to Indians wanting to get the best bang for their buck. The big billion day has been a very disappointing day for many ( including myself ) and a very lucky one for the rest.

Decoding the name “Big Billion Day”

“Big” refers to the largeness of the event as it is going to be the best sale ever happened in India. “Billion” refers to the population of our country India, and the “Day” (6-10-2014) marks the celebration of the Flipkart’s own journey which started from the flat number 610 from the minds of Sachin and Binny (founders of Flipkart.com).


Flipkart’s billion dollar day stats are eye popping. Here’s an overview-

  • They sold over 20 lakh (20,00,000) items in about 10 hours.
  • Sold almost one TV every second!
  • 500,000 mobiles sold
  • 500,000 items in ‘fashion’ category sold
  • Orders received from 6000 PIN codes
  • 1 million mobile app downloads recorded

The numbers are staggering, but thats where all the problems began. With discounts like these (below) Flipkart is now said to have angered top electronics firms like Sony, LG and Samsung, who are miffed at the e-commerce site for selling their products at extremely low prices. Some of them have even suspended fresh sales to the online retailer and are considering legal action for ‘predatory pricing’.

[well]Flipkart and Snapdeal can offer such deals because it’s the investor’s money they are burning! Investors don’t mind because it creates a ground for eCommerce business to establish as a strong alternative to shops.

Had Flipkart handled the billion dollar day well, it’d have been a HUGE plus for the company – for their upcoming IPO. The IPO is what the investors of Flipkart are eyeing because that’s the only way they can recover their money. [/well]

What went wrong ?

Everyone wants a great deal: Everyone likes discounts. Flipkart deployed 5000 new servers for the Big Billion Day and it still wasn’t enough to handle the load on the server caused by millions of Indians. Within a few hours the site was down. Showing 500 internal error. Many reported that they couldn’t log in. And many couldn’t get even one of the steal deals.

After Sales

Yes ! There was  quite a few heated arguments on after sales service.
The Flipkart First service was discontinued.
Many orders were cancelled because Flipkart didn’t have the items in stock.
A few orders are yet to be dispatched.

To all these problems flipkart sent an Apology letter addressed to everyone

[blockquote source=”Flipkart “]

Yesterday was a big day for us and we really wanted it to be a great day for you. However, at the end of the day, we know that your experience was less than pleasant.

We did not live up to the promises we made and for that we are really and truly sorry.

It took enormous effort from everyone at Flipkart, many months of preparation and pushing our capabilities and systems to the limit to be able to create this day. We were looking at fulfilling the dreams of millions of Indian consumers through deals and offers we had painstakingly put together for months.

Though we saw unprecedented interest in our products and traffic like never before – we also realized that we were not adequately prepared for the sheer scale of the event. We didn’t source enough products and deals in advance to cater to your requirements. To add to this, the load on our server led to intermittent outages, further impacting your shopping experience on our site.

An unprecedented 1.5 million people shopped at Flipkart yesterday. While we stand humbled by the sheer faith that such a large number of customers have shown in us, we are unhappy that we were unable to live up to the expectations of millions more who wanted to buy from us yesterday.

This is not acceptable to us.

Delighting you and every single one of our customers, is absolutely the top most priority for Flipkart and we have worked very hard over the last seven years to earn your trust. Yesterday, we failed that trust. We have learnt some valuable lessons from this and have started working doubly hard to address all the issues that cropped up during this sale.

a. Price Changes
As we were preparing various deals and promotional pricing in the lead up to the sale, the pricing of several products got ?changed to their non-discounted rates for a few hours?. We realise that this breaks the trust our customers have put in us. We are truly sorry for this and will ensure that this never happens again.

b. Out-of-stock Issues
We ran out of the stock for many products within a few minutes (and in some cases, seconds) of the sale going live. For example, most of our special deals were sold out as soon as they went live. We had ensured availability, ?anywhere from hundreds to a few lakh units for various products, but it was nowhere near the actual demand. We promise to plan much better for future promotions and ensure that we minimise the out-of-stock issues.

c. Cancellations
We had large number of people buying specific products simultaneously. This led to some instances of an order getting over-?booked for a product that was sold out just a few seconds ago. We are working round-the-clock to ensure availability of additional units for these products and will do our level best to ensure that we minimise any cancellations.

d. Website Issues
We realise that the shopping experience for many of you was frustrating due to errors and unavailability of the website at times. We had deployed nearly 5000 servers and had prepared for 20 times the traffic growth – but the volume of traffic at different times of the day was much higher than this. We are continuing to significantly scale up all our back end systems so that we do a much, much better job next time.

Everything that we have achieved at Flipkart is purely on the basis of our customer’s trust and faith. This is why we come to work each day and continue to remain extremely passionate about building the best possible customer experience for Indian consumers. We failed to live up to this promise yesterday and would like to apologise once again to every single customer for our failure.

Thank you.

Sachin and Binny


Out of Stock !!

According to a report 78% of the customers were agitated because what ever they wanted to buy went out of stock. What we should understand here is that 96% of the people who gave the survey wanted to buy only the steal deals. There were only 100 pcs for all the steal deals Flipkart had to offer. At the end of the day it is a business and they have to make a profit. You are not entitled to throw a tantrum on social media just because you were not one of the few lucky goats.

Many orders were cancelled as many people bought recurring items because of the deal. If you didnt get the deal, Blame them not Flipkart.  However flipkart did revert back to genuine buyers restoring them the offer as well as the order.



Flipkart even compensated a sum of Rs 100 to those people who’s orders had been canceled.

The Bottom Line

Flipkart is trying its best to do what it can. At the end of the day, the fault lies with us. It is us who are agitated for not being able to secure a good deal. It is use who buy the same product many times making the product out of stock very soon. It is a humble request, try not to defame flipkart.  Flipkart is a great company. Offering great deals and great service. Posts like these are just sad.


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