FlipKart’s big billion day was one of the watershed moments in the eCommerce industry in India as they garnered up more than 100 million dollars in sale in 10 hours.
You can find the official statement from one of the founders:
However, there has been a lot of criticism that they have faced around every aspect of the sale and had to eventually apologize to all their registered customers.
There is a lot of learning for all online retailers in India. The most critical learning in my opinion is that the Indian consumer is still highly price conscious and demanding in terms of service.
So, in order to be successful, online retailers need to crack the low price and excellent service combination.
So, what should FlipKart do going forward with their customers:
Good leaders never allow a crisis to go waste.
- If they have the data on which of their users were interested in which products as part of the sale, they should craft new offers for those users for the products that they were interested in and convert them. If they are not interested, offer them something more than an apology: maybe free upgrade to single day delivery for their next 5 purchases..
- Ensure that any customer service request doesnt escalate. They have had enough negative publicity and they dont need any more of that to hurt their brand.
So, what should FlipKart do going forward with their sellers:
As they are now a platform, their success depends on the success of the sellers on the platform.
- Treat the sellers as their extended teams and share all the data that could help them be more successful in the future.
- Build a vision for the platform together with them. Be bold and go for the gold. Take them along.
- Discuss & put in place checks and balances in their processes to ensure that the learnings from this day doesnt go waste and the network as a whole learns and becomes better.
- Use the success of the day to attract new sellers on the platform and hence provide more choice to their users.
So, what should FlipKart do going forward internally:
They have rightly set their sights on really audacious goal – being able to sell goods worth a billion dollars in a day. In my opinion, it is not enough to have a revenue based goal for an organization. Not many employees, except for maybe the founders of the company, will get out of the bed and run to office to accomplish a billion dollar sale in a day. They need to find a emotional anchor that can not only inspire their employees but also their partners and customers to be driven and committed to the goal.
These are my opinion on what they could or should do. What do you think?