Flipkart and Snapdeal on Monday, October 6, 2014 sold merchandise online worth Rs.600 crore each and Snapdeal said it was registering Rs.1 crore per minute as sales, while Flipkart said it did so in 10 hours, from 8 AM in the morning to 6 PM in the evening.
In a statement, Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal said, “We got a billion hits on our site today and achieved our 24 hour sales target of $100 million in GMV (gross merchandise value) in just 10 hours. The Big Billion Day is an unprecedented day for us as this is the biggest sale ever in India. With a range of exciting offers on quality products at disruptive prices available throughout the sale period, we have created history in Indian e-commerce.”
Not far behind, Snapdeal said it sold online at the rate of Rs.1 crore per minute, which was similar to Flipkart’s sale pace though analysts are sure Flipkart’s pace of sale was much faster on Monday, except for half-an-hour around 1:20 PM when the website crashed briefly.
Amazon is also running a three-day Pre-Diwali discount campaign but remained silent about its numbers nor reacted to the claims of domestic rivals over the price challenge or billion sale targets.
Flipkart’s “Steal Deal” offer was available only for 15 minutes after 8 AM and the products were shown “out of stock” after that triggering massive criticism of Flipkart on social media networking sites Twitter and Facebook. Referring to dropped orders and technical snags, one tweet described it as “Flopkart.”
Some of the compalints include pricing scam with no real discounts during the sale, lack of alternative products, no offer of refund for booked and failed orders, non-availability of most of the products advertised in newspapers and inflated prices just a day before the discount, thus keeping the price more or less the same for many high-value products.
Ironic is when people tried to enter the sale via www.bigbillionday.com, they were redirected to rival website www.amazon.in during the hot pursuit of the Big Billion Sale by flipkart and Snapdeal. Though the redirection was removed later, Amazon said it has no role in it.
However, Flipkart did offer some major discounts like Nokia 1020 that was sold at Rs.20,000, almost 60% less than its launch price. How did it offer such huge discounts? Its latest fund-raising exercise has been its core strength now while acquiring online consumers remained on top of the strategy for both Indian e-retailers at the expense of Amazon.in.
Is it the Xiaomi strategy to sell dead cheap and acquire a customer to go for real sale of the next product? Xiaomi sold Mi3 similarly at half the price compared to its rivals and stopped the sale and launched its basic phone Redme 1s priced Rs.6000 and amassed the market for mid-range phones overnight without any advertisement expenditure.