EVEN RAJINIKANTH COULDN’T SHOP ON FLIPKART ON ITS BIG BILLION DAY!

Someone said so, saying of a joke doing the rounds on gaffes, goof-ups and outright doublespeak after the grand promise made by India’s largest online retailer and its promoters failed miserably.

The huge amount of negative publicity or countless disgruntled customers expressing their outrage online raised the most logical question of the failed event (from a customer’s perspective) – was there a SALE indeed that could correspond to the special message of ‘Sachin & Binny’?

On October 4, a Flipkart mailer with the subject line ‘Special Message from Sachin & Binny’ was dropped in millions of mailboxes where the online retailers tried to sound emotional, linking the date with the address of the place they began with, while, simultaneously, the marketer in them was urging the targeted market ‘to be a part of this event, when, come October 6th, Flipkart forever changes the way India shops’.

Well, nothing so happened. The market might well have paid tribute to the marketer by giving it a larger business volume on the day but the marketer failed to pay ‘tribute to dreams and dreamers’ as ‘Sachin & Binny’ initially told us.

An intended ‘way of making sure Flipkart’s all customers’ dreams come true..’ became a routine ‘clearance sale’ which failed to live up to the promises made.

Well, the fault lies with those who read too much into what ‘Sachin & Binny’ promised, like has been the case always, in every such ‘sale’ oriented marketing event.

Nothing is emotional in marketing Gyaanis always say and ‘Sachin & Binny’s Flipkart only reaffirms this again. It reaffirms again the cliché that is conveniently forgotten again and again.

I don’t remember if Nokia Lumia 1020 ever sold at over Rs 62000 and that how ‘benevolently’ Flipkart was offering it at 19000 when its life was already over months ago.

Also, I couldn’t locate Rs 600 Adata 2TB External Hard Disc Drive (original price claimed by Flipkart – Rs 6000), Rs 99 JBL 55i (original price claimed by Flipkart – Rs 5490) or Rs 1390 Galaxy Tab 2 (original price claimed by Flipkart – Rs 13990) on Flipkart. All these offers were advertised crazily in the morning newspapers and they crashed crazily. Deodorants that were on 30% discount were reduced to 20% discount tag within an hour. In Fact, ‘marked up’ prices and ‘fleeting discounts’ dotted across the category lines.

That forced the majority to ask where was the ‘Big Billion’ event of the day? Well, it never arrived.

A guy who thought his ‘luck’ worked ordered two units of a mobile phone handset, each for Rs 1500 for the retail price of 7000 a unit. The order was placed successfully and the confirmation was received. In evening, the fellow got another mail from Flipkart saying his order was ‘auto-cancelled’ due to ‘price error’. The guy, obviously left fuming, sent complaint mails to media houses and said of taking the matter further up.

There are countless such reactions flooding the social media and different Internet platforms. In fact, on yesterday, the supposedly big-ticket Flipkart event day, #Flipkart was tending on Twitter only because of the negative publicity owing to Flipkart’s failure to follow what ‘Sachin & Binny’ had spoken of.

But, in marketing, at the end of the day, what matter most are business volumes, inventory clearance and profits and Flipkart sure would have scored on it.

After all, irrespective of how ‘touchy and personal’ ‘Sachin & Binny’ tried to be, it was nothing but a tried and tested marketing gimmick ‘that never fails to bring results’.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/