On Sunday, Flipkart came out with two front page ads on Times of India, to thank consumers for their trust during the Big Billion Days Sale which took place from October 13th to 17th. Unlike last time, this year the sale was only App-only and was for five days. The message was “Your unwavering trust in us, helped fulfil every wish. The #BigBillionDays was a success story you truly helped us create.”
The ecommerce player also launched a video titled ‘A journey we shared with you, a success we truly owe to you.’ It starts with reminding people, how during the first season of the Big Billion Day sale, there were few major problems, as a result of which consumers mistook their intent as a cheap marketing gimmick. It was then that the co- founders, Sachin and Binny Bansal came out with a public apology asking for forgiveness and ensuring that these things would never happen again. The video then goes to capture the online excitement, when Flipkart announced this year about Big Billion Day sale coming back. It also highlights the experience of consumers who posted on social media sites and thanked Flipkart for fulfilling their wishes.
The video ends with the message “At the heart of #BigBillionDays success rests one reason- You. Thank You for trusting us with millions of wishes, without which we couldn’t have come so far…And next year, we promise to go even farther by fulfilling billions more!”
Click here to watch the video:
Flipkart has always tried to maintain a much personalised contact with consumers. Even last year, when things didn’t go right, they never tried to skirt the subject, instead were brave enough to openly accept the problem and move ahead. This year, when the Big Billion Day sale turned to be a success, they came out with the Thank You message and attributed its success to the consumers. exchange4media spoke to social media experts and brand heads to understand the strategy behind Flipkart’s move.
Expert view: Did the strategy work?
Sanjay Mehta, co-founder and Joint CEO, Social Wavelength said, “For any discerning customer, this might look as another marketing route to sell their product. But it might look sincere and genuine, if the intent is to have a direct communication with the consumers on softer issues. It is just like the way, CSR is used, and some might use it as a marketing technique, while others will use it as a social responsibility on a more consistent basis. If the intent is to make one-to-one communication, over a period of time, then the idea seems good enough for consumers to believe them better.”
Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder and CEO, Brand-comm elaborated, “I believe consumers are usually of two types, one is the western consumers, who is cynical and the other is the Indian consumers, who take things a lot more favourably than their western counterparts. Recently, the Flipkart founders even went out to deliver products to their customers. A cynical consumer will say that Flipkart delivery is not good, hence the senior members are out to deliver, while the other set of consumers will look at it more positively, feeling assured that their products will be delivered to them on time, because the senior members are out for delivery.”
“Last time, Flipkart received a lot of ill will and online flak after they were not able to deliver products to people on time. I feel their recent attempt is to build good will, because they know that everything is not going to be good always and even all things are not within their control. At the end of the day, let’s not forget one thing, no matter how big they have grown, Flipkart still is a young brand and this attempt I feel is to build equity with the consumers. In the B2B space, Infosys is the best company in terms of dealing with their consumers and media. Probably Flipkart is trying to take a page out of them to deal with their consumers. But we will have to see, whether the attempt is intense and it stays over a period of time. Because people won’t remember the times, when they did things correctly, but they will always remember the times when Flipkart goofed up,” he added
Anshul Sushil, co-founder, Boring Brands cited, “I loved the strategy, see Flipkart is not a very old brand, so everything they do, consumers can easily relate to it. When consumers are seeing a Thank You video like this, unconsciously or consciously, they will like it. Social media is a place where double conversation takes place. Since last year, they received so many consumer complaints; the strategy behind this year’s video is ‘Hey Look, we are listening to you and thank You for being there’. I think it will go a long way for the brand in creating conversations with the consumers.’
Adding to this, Simha Rajamanoor, Creative Director- Campaigns and Content, Asymmetrique cited, “After any big successful event, Thank You is like a courtesy thing. Whether it benefits the brand I don’t know, but it doesn’t do any harm for sure. It might not establish any emotional connect, but the impact can be felt by those, who probably purchased things while the sale was on.”
On Monday, the hashtag #BigBillionThankYou trended throughout the day on Twitter. According to the free social media tool Topsy, the hashtag received more than 5,000 tweets.
Below are few excerpts of conversations which took place on Twitter: