Roasting Customer Trust, The Flipkart Style


Yesterday was indeed an overwhelming day for Indian e-store Flipkart, for its ‘Big Billion Day’ sale. So overwhelming that Flipkart messed it up big time. Company says it’s obsessed with providing memorable shopping experience to its customers. Yesterday’s Big Billion Day goes beyond it. Flipkart became Failkart on its big day.

E-commerce in India is growing faster than ever. And Flipkart apparently wants to lead the race. It’s been getting lots of exclusive launches recently. But hey, that’s just one side of the coin. On other side or the back side, Flipkart hasn’t been doing really well. They have been screwing up on backend side of things every now and then.

Flipkart has repeatedly failed during various sale events. Flipkart’s inability to handle big demands was exposed during first flash sale of Xiaomi Mi3. Site simply crashed. The latest one in the series is its Big Billion Day sale. There have been outrage on social media over Flipkart’s false deals and inability to handle all the load. A few friends of mine even reached out to me and narrated their poor experiences with yesterday’s sale. One of them ordered a Moto E for Rs.1500 ($25), price that would give even feature phones a run for their money. Flipkart confirmed his order too and notified him via SMS and email. And while he was being happy about grabbing the right deal, Flipkart later sent him an email telling that it was an price error and hence his order was cancelled. Flipkart instead provided him with a gift voucher. Although, it seems like a good gesture, it exposes flaws in Flipkart’s whole system.

But he is not alone. Flipkart canceled orders of few customers other reasons such as it wanted to give FAIR opportunity to others. This happened even after full payment for orders. I mean what the heck! Who do you want to give fair opportunity to? You’re clearly cheating on your customers.

This one was doing the rounds on internet yesterday. The buyer paid ~$728 for a TV and Flipkart later decided to cancel his order. Well, someone needs to tell Flipkart this is as good as duping customers.

Thankfully, these people could at least got to place their orders. Others where left into frustration when their desired items went ‘out of stock’ from ‘buy now’, in a blink of the eye. Boy, such things used to happen on IRCTC only and even IRCTC is now totally free from such incidents. Flipkart just snatched the crown, haha. People were stuck to their screens for at least from ten minutes before the sale started so that they could grab the deal as soon as it goes live. But Flipkart managed to disappoint them beyond their expectations. You know, if you’re living in India, yesterday was the perfect day to book your tickets on IRCTC as vast majority of internet savy people was on Flipkart. No pun intended.

At the end of the day, Flipkart’s Big Billion Day became topic for internet trolls. People are still raging about it online and offline. There are memes being created and spread, making fun of Flipkart. It has already earned lots of bad PR for Flipkart. Action time for damage control team now.

While Flipkart’s ambition to go head on with e-commerce majors like Amazon is understandable, its efforts lack the good planning. Flipkart needs to learn to keep its promises too. Flipkart needs to strengthen its foundations before it takes on the big boys. Indians ARE already proud of Flipkart for changing the e-commerce landscape in India but now retaining and regaining their trust after such incidents will take some time. It’s easy to break the trust but building reputation is the toughest job. Let’s hope Flipkart is learns its lessons.