Flipkart's Big Billion Day: Hits & Hiccups*

            

Details


Case Code : CLMM111
Publication date : 2015
Subject : Marketing Management
Industry : E-commerce
Length : 04 Pages

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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

This case focuses on Flipkart’s ‘Big Billion Day’ sale which was launched on October 6, 2014. It highlights the problems that occurred on the day of the sale and their adverse impact on the customers and reputation of the company. Flipkart was set up by two software engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, in 2007. It sold many items under various categories like apparels, appliances, books, etc.

October being the festive season in India, the big e-commerce companies were looking to lure buyers through various attractive discounts and offers. Flipkart too declared a sale on October 6, 2014. The company spent a huge amount of money on its ad campaigns, installing servers to handle online traffic and deploying staff for processing the orders and delivering the goods. Unfortunately for them, things did not turn out quite as they expected. Flipkart's servers crashed, items went out of stock, and the prices of items changed during the sale. Buyers were outraged and took to the social media to express their ire. Manufacturers too accused the company of selling goods below the selling price. To protect the image of their company, Flipkart’s founders sent out apology letters to the buyers regretting the inconvenience they had caused and assuring them that they would deliver better service in future. Despite all the hue and cry, Flipkart witnessed a mega sale of $100 million (Rs 6 billion) in just 10 hours.

Issues:

Understand the sales strategies adopted by e-commerce companies.
Understand the problems that may arise in business due to lack of foresight.
Understand how companies need to handle customer dissatisfaction and safeguard image.

Introduction

In 2007, Sachin Bansal (Sachin) and Binny Bansal (Binny), both software engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, founded an electronic commerce (e-commerce) company in India named Flipkart.com. The idea of starting such a business crossed their minds when they were working for Amazon...

Questions for Discussion:

1. Flipkart's much-touted 'Big Billion Day' sale turned out to be a fiasco. What do you think Flipart did wrong?
2. How could Flipkart have ensured the success of its ‘Big Billion Day' sale?
3. How can Flipkart win back the trust of consumers who fled to competitors during the sale?

Key words:
E-commerce , Sale Strategy, Big Billion Day, Failure to deliver service, Customer dissatisfaction, Service quality, Flipkart, Consumer behavior





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