Alnoor M Peermohamed
11:41 07th Oct, 2014
Flipkart Rises To The 'Big Billion Day' Challenge
The company rakes in some impressive numbers despite a few questionable moves
Flipkart's Big Billion Day sale drew a lot of flak from the media and the public, but once the dust settled, we realized something beautiful was achieved. We can't forget the scammy discounts and the numerous order cancellations, but the numbers which India's largest e-commerce portal clocked were truly an achievement.
The company grossed a cool $100 million in sales and registered 20 lakh orders on October 6. To put that into perspective, the company says it's average daily sales stand at about $8.2 million. Flipkart's Big Billion Day sale was indeed a blockbuster success, and just goes to prove that e-retail is the future of how people buy things.
While Flipkart's is the most shining example of growth in the Indian e-retail space, rivals Snapdeal and Amazon aren't doing too bad either. Snapdeal claims sales on its portal clocked business worth Rs 1 crore a minute during the initial hours of its Diwali sale. If this doesn't strike terror in the hearts of offline retailers, we don't know what will.
Still, e-retail isn't the bad-guy killing off mom-and-pop shops everyone believes it to be. It's just a new (more convenient, faster, easier, cheaper) way to buy things, and it's this change that no one is comfortable with. To say it simply, it's customers that are hurting offline retail, and e-commerce is just the gun that's doing the dirty work.
Repercussions of the Big Billion Day sale
While Flipkart will have to work on ways to mend it's image after the fallout of negative publicity, the company has come out on top stronger than ever. More than the revenue or the customer base, Flipkart now has the knowledge of how to scale up its operations, which future-proofs its growth strategy.
The company had 10,000 employees working 12-hour shifts in the weekend leading up to the Big Billion Day sale. While all that work didn't minimize the discrepancies customers faced, the company now knows exactly what to fix in its many systems. This learning doesn't just include how to effectively handle increased traffic on its site, but also how its delivery logistics needs to grow.
At the end of the day, Flipkart's massive sales may be a new phenomenon in India, but they're reminiscent of the Black Friday sales we've seen in the US every year. Online retail may be killing offline retail, but it's opening up numerous new avenues for employment in terms of logistics providers, payment gateways and the numerous other services that make e-retail possible.
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