Big Apology Day follows Flipkart's Big Billion Day

E-tailer says it has learnt valuable lessons from the experience

Big Apology Day follows Flipkart's Big Billion Day

After its Big Billion Day on Monday, which fetched Flipkart.com $100 million by way of sales and the ire of hordes of angry customers who complained of technical glitches and false promises on discounts, the Bangalore-based online giant was quick to apologise for its drawbacks on Tuesday.

Flipkart.com founders Sachin and Binny Bansal apologised to customers in a carefully worded statement, admitting that the website could not live upto customer expectations. “Yesterday was a big day for us. And we really wanted it to be a great day for you. But 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,” the Bansals said.

Noting that it took enormous effort from everyone at Flipkart, many months of preparation and pushing its “capabilities and systems to the limit” for the big day, the Bansals said that they were looking at fulfilling the dreams of millions of Indian consumers through deals and offers painstakingly put together for months.

The statement did not mention the stiff and timely competition put up by Flipkart rivals Snapdeal and Amazon who saw a huge influx of dissatisfied Flipkart customers miffed by the “Out of Stock” signs and crashing servers hosting Flipkart’s website which clearly buckled under backload of heavy demand .

However, it said that Flipkart had ensured availability, anywhere from hundreds to a few lakh units for various products, but it was nowhere near the actual demand. The founders promised to plan much better for future promotions and ensure that out-of-stock issues did not recur.

“Though we saw unprecedented interest in our products and traffic like never before, we also realised 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,”the Bansals said.

They claimed that an “unprecedented” 1.5 million people shopped at Flipkart on Monday.

They said that the company has learnt some valuable lessons from the experience and started working doubly hard to address all the issues that cropped up during this sale.

Flop-Kart, and the reasons

Price Changes

Even as Flipkart prepares various deals and promotional pricing in the lead-up to the sale, the pricing of several products gets changed to non-discounted rates for a few hours.

“Out of stock”

The website ran out of stock for many products within a few minutes (and in some cases, seconds) of the sale going live. Most special deals were sold out as soon as they went live. 

Cancellations

A large number of people bought specific products simultaneously. This led to some instances of orders getting overbooked for a product sold out just a few seconds ago.

Website Issues

n Nearly 5000 servers were deployed and had
repared for 20 times the traffic growth. But the volume of traffic at different times of the day was much higher than this.
  
Source: Flipkart

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