The Big Billion Day: Was It A Cheap Parlor Trick?
Well! It sure was a HUGE news? Some say it was a hype, some say it was a marketing move and I ask – Was it just a way to play?
I guess we will not have a conclusive answer at this, but there is no harm in trying to search for it :).
Like we all know now, the big billion day was expected to offer a huge discount margin on all the products, and some portals even quoted a discount as high as 80% which sounded like a great deal. Someone once told me – If it is too good to believe, then it probably isn’t true. Even I wondered this with skepticism when this deal was announced and I must say, I am not too surprised with the outcome.
The company claims that they hit the billion sale in a short span of 10Hrs which is damn cool for the company and for a layman who just sees this new caption, it really is amazing to know that a company has this much of strength in itself and is this capable. But at the same time it makes me wonder and ask a few questions as below:
1) What Does The Company Gain?
Well it is a natural first question to ask, it does not need any business acumen to do that, it is simple common sense. Lets try and answer this – Why did flipkart do it?
Was it because they felt good about the people they serve?
Honestly that is a very beautiful thing for a company to do that, but who would go through a huge loss to do that?
Was it because they had reaped in profits and they wanted to dole it out?
This also doesn’t lead me to a positive answer. Why would anyone want to do that? Esp a company which is under a loan from a lot of venture capitalists?
Was it because it might be of some use to them?
I think we are getting close now, no one wants to do such an elaborate action without gaining anything out of it. Basic common sense dictates that they sure were gaining something out of it? What was it?
There is no better publicity than free publicity! Few people talked about it at the start and at the end of the day we realize that everyone is talking about it, the newschannels are abuzz about flipkart and their big billion offer. And that is the publicity they didn’t pay for but yet it was a very smart one 🙂
2) What Do People Think Of It?
Well, if I am looking from the outside, it feels like a steal, the offers seem damn good, 60%, 80% looks amazing on paper.
What if the products you want are not available?
What if the costs are increased drastically to give you an illusion of discount?
What if the server reads error when you are about to buy the product?
3) Why it pissed people off!
Well it is one thing to take a customer for granted, it is one thing to create an illusion of discount, it is one thing to make someone believe that they are good, but then taking a customer for a fool is something which is never easy to forgive.
I am not sure what the marketing strategy was, but I am a little irritated that a customer was taken for granted so easily, as if he was a fool who would not understand what was going on and fall trap to a marketing strategy or a magic trick. I was surprised to see a few products which were available yesterday suddenly go out of stock.
My question is
– If you are not prepared to offer a discount on all of them, then why claim it? Why not say select products only? Why make such a big deal of it and drive in people only to prove to them that they are fools? Or try and convince them that this is the best deal available?
I mean, we are ok if you tell us it is expensive, we are ok and understand that a company needs to survive and flipkart had done an amazing job at it. But we are not ok being treated as fools. We are not ok being taken for granted. It is not a matter of money, it is not a matter of product, at some level, it just dug deeper and sent a message that they do not care about the customer and that is something which is becoming hard for me to digest. I honestly feel that it was an awful marketing strategy and it might have as well backfired on them.
4) The Outcome?
Did flipkart lose out on its people’s trust by doing this?
Was it a cheap marketing stunt? A cheap parlor trick which angered many? Something which opened the customer up to newer services?
Well that is something we will be able to answer with time. Maybe they can recover from this, maybe the others will use this to their advantage and treat the customer with greater respect or maybe they will not pay heed to this and continue what they did. And if they do, I am sure it will be at their own peril!
What do you think of this? Please do let us know your thoughts below
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