Social media's 'Big Billion' lesson for Flipkart

The e-commerce player's ambitious version of Black Friday sales crumbled under technical glitches and faced consumer flak for inflated prices and poor shopping experience

e4m by Ankur Singh
Updated: Oct 7, 2014 8:01 AM
Social media's 'Big Billion' lesson for Flipkart

As shoppers geared up for the so-called ‘Big Billion Day sale’ by Flipkart, the brand intended Monday to be the equivalent of the Black Friday sale in the USA. After heavy advertising on all possible mediums, this online sale was trending on social media for all the wrong reasons.

Even before the sale could begin, there were ripples of controversy all over the web as buyers noticed that the prices of some of the products were being raised back to the MRP instead of the actual selling price in order to project bigger and more attractive discounts.

Cheat Sheet

A chrome extension called CompareHatke has revealed that in the lead-up to the sale prices of products were spiked. It revealed that once the sale is enabled, essentially the price of the product would be the same as it was before it was inflated ahead of the sale.  Online buyers, too, claimed that prices on the website were inflated over the past couple of days and therefore the discounts running today are not genuine.

On top of such allegations, Flipkart struggled to keep up with the demand. Products were sold out by 12 noon, clearly showing the limited space of the sale.

Tech woes

The troubles were not over yet. The sale was marred with a number of technical glitches. The site crumbled due to overload, with screens showing random errors. Many buyers complained of orders not being confirmed after making payments.

Frustrated buyers took to social media to vent after they were unable to make purchases despite repeated attempts due to server errors.

Negative buzz

According to a research done by Simplify360, negative sentiment around Flipkart’s sale has reached 12. 53 per cent from 4.76 per cent just a week ago, decreasing the positive sentiment from 24.48 per cent to 16.46 per cent.

Another in the series of consumer grievances was the claim that offers advertised by Flipkart in the newspapers are not available on the website.

Flipkart spoof hashtags like #Failkart, #Flopkart, #Flippedkart were trending across Twitter and Facebook all day. Here are a few excerpts:

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