Dear Bansal Brothers
Haha, I know that sounds awkward, but that’s what I have thought about both of you all my life. You share same surname, you are from the same college, you are from the same company (Amazon.com, where you previously worked) and maybe a lot more which I am unaware of.
Coming onto the point, I write this letter to take a stand against the criticism you are facing, because I believe, being a blogger, I do have rights to share my own feelings and I will try my level best to prove, why do I feel that.
The first ever order I placed online to buy something was on FlipKart. A laptop speaker costing ₹177 at that time (I just checked the rate today, and it shows ₹430 for the same), well, that hardly matters. What matters is, the association I have had with you for all these years. I was 15 at the time I first bought from FlipKart and I am 19 now.
There are a lot of things which matter, growing from a book marketplace to India’s best and biggest eCommerce store is not an easy deal. Convincing Indians to buy online with a sense of relief and belief is not an easy deal. Getting a billion dollar funding is not an easy deal and yeah, I do understand, taking a lot of criticism and still standing firm with creativity and confidence is not an easy deal.
I can still remember seeing those kids on the TV as a part of FlipKart advertisement, talking about the cash on delivery for all the online purchases. Everyone has a journey and for sure, it has been with a lot of ups and downs for you and FlipKart.
India, is a country where they believe into getting the best at the cheapest. You gave them that option. You made them believe that online purchasing is as safe and reliable as the offline one. You made them realize that the shopping experience can be a lot better with 30 days replacement and refund guarantee. You gave them a new, reliable and effort free way of shopping.
If the Search Word is replaced by Google, the News-Channel word in India is replaced by AajTak, then I can assure you, that online shopping has been replaced by FlipKart.
I understand keeping up to the expectations of a billion people of this country is not easy, when Narendra Modi can face criticism, why can’t you?, and I believe, that is a good thing for a business in India. You now know what to expect and implement from the next time.
There was a lot happening around for #BigBillionDay. People were expecting a lot and maybe they were right. They are consumers and you need to respect them. I can understand, the machinery failed. I can understand, a few plans failed because you did not expect a lot of turnaround. I can understand, the expectations of the costumers failed and people think, FlipKart failed.
These people who are criticizing FlipKart (most of them are bloggers and internet marketers), most of them are the ones who have been dependent on FlipKart for the affiliate commissions. They are the ones who have made a lot of money by referring FlipKart to others and now, just because they could not get a chance to buy something on a discounted rate, they started criticizing. Or maybe they are criticizing because their affiliate accounts did not open on that day due to huge server load.
Whatever the reason might be, you messed up and you accepted it in the form of that apology mail sent out to every customer. I salute for those guts and gesture.
Shit Happens, and it has happened. Better is to move ahead. You still have a special place for us. Learn from things, spend sometime on implementing things in a better way and maybe in a simpler way. To prove a point of giving good discounts, you messed up with prices.
A 64 GB pendrive was having an actual price of ₹49,999 and it was available at ₹2299 after 95% discount, now that might either be a tactic or a mistake, but a mistake like this from FlipKart is not acceptable and a tactic like that can just lose you thousands of customers. There were many more tactics/mistakes which were noticed by the customers on the same day.
But at the same time, there were deals like Lumia 1020 for 14k (I badly wanted to get one, but bad luck). Most of the people who ordered Lumia 1020 got it delivered yesterday. I ordered a couple of tablets at a lesser price and a lot of people in my surroundings did order some or the other things.
My point is, you did not need anything like that. Even giving a simple discount right on the actual price could get you a lot of trust if not sales and customers on that day. You messed up with the advertising, you messed up with the pricing and yeah, you messed up with the trust.
Learn and move ahead. That’s what the country is saying. One more messed up day like this, and you can lose a million faithful customers. Keep up the good work and cut down the bad. You are still the best Indian eCommerce store and I expect you to remain the same forever.
Kunwar Prithvi Singh Chauhan
An Internet Enthusiast and a wellwisher