Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart crashed temporarily on Tuesday, just minutes after Xiaomi’s flagship product, the Mi 3 was launched exclusively on the site. Flipkart had started a pre-registration offer for the Mi 3 with the first 1,000 registrations being promised “a guaranteed chance to purchase the Mi 3 on July 21”. It is estimated that more than 1,00,000 registrations were received.
On the day of the sale, the website reportedly started to crash before buyers could complete their purchase. An hour later, an ‘out of stock’ message was shown on the smartphone’s promotion page.
Xiaomi, one of the leading mobile Internet companies in China, which forayed into Indian market on July 15, 2014, announced that its entire Mi 3 stock was sold out in 38 minutes and 50 seconds on Flipkart .
Manu Jain, India Operations Head, Xiaomi, admitted that they underestimated the demand for the Mi 3 and steps were being taken to revamp the supply. He said, “We would like to apologize to our fans who couldn’t purchase the Mi 3. We are responding immediately to the commitment shown to us by our customers by focusing on the following – we are working with Flipkart to ensure the experience of purchase is improved further and technical issues are resolved. We know some of our fans must be disappointed. We want to make it up to them.” He further said that for the next sale on July 29, the customers who missed out on the previous sale would be automatically registered.
This is not the first time Flipkart’s website has crashed on the day of a major launch. On May 14 when the Motorola Moto E went on sale, the website couldn’t take the load and visitors were greeted by another error message.
Both Xiaomi and Motorola had tied up exclusively with Flipkart to sell the Mi # and the Moto E, respectively, in India. This leads us to question whether phone manufacturers are erring on the side of caution in terms of supply. Also, e-commerce players need to take steps to ramp up their systems to meet sudden surges in demands during special offers.