AFTER AMAZON, SNAPDEAL DOES THE SAME!

So here I am again.

A week after writing my previous two articles on logistical operations at Amazon India.

The first was on my embarrassing experience with Amazon India’s logistics arrangements with its ‘subscribe and save’ category.

The second one was on how no one from Amazon, Amazon India and Jeff Bezos responded to my articles even if I tagged them on Twitter and posted the same on Amazon’s Facebook extensions.

You can find those articles on the hyperlinked words above.

The second article I had written on May 29. So its eight days to that development now and no response so far has come from Amazon.

Meanwhile, I have had a similar experience with Snapdeal to add to the developing contours of my writings on this subject.

And irrespective of whether I get response or not, I would again tag Amazon (and this time Snapdeal also) and their bosses to see if they respond now.

Additionally, I am sending a questionnaire to some professors of Supply Chain Management to understand the logic behind this mode of delivery on the most important aspect of any E-commerce business – its logistics operations.

To understand how duplication (and thus wastage) of resources (including manpower hours) is justified by sending multiple items of a same order on different days! It has been like – one order, one day – at a time. Whenever it has been like more than two products were delivered on a same day, these were by different people.

Amazon-Snapdeal

The same routine is being repeated even this month – that I wrote and complained about last month.

There has been no change.

To make my points more reflective, I tried this today – I measured size of the cartons and the products they carried. To put my point here, I am attaching a collage photograph of the products delivered from Amazon and Snapdeal.

What is interesting here that Amazon delivered two products of similar dimensions – Colin and Lifebuoy Handwash, that you can see in the photograph – in different cartons. The box size was 38*32 cms. The products dimensions were 28*15 cms and 28*9 cms. So, both products should have been delivered in the same carton. That would have saved a box – with all its packaging material, the inventory space that the raw material for it took and the cost it incurred.

Imagine the scale of wastage if the same is repeated with millions of products!

Similar experience was there in store by Snapdeal.

I had placed an order for three items – three different products – but all were from the ‘food items’ category. All three were delivered on different dates. One of these orders was for three bottles of jam – strawberry, mango and berry. The three jam bottles of same dimension were packed in different boxes. One of these boxes had its bottle broken and its content was spilled all over. I placed a return order immediately but there has been no update on it and its three days now.

At least Amazon is miles ahead here. The ‘return experience’ has been overwhelmingly good with Amazon India (so far).

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

AAMIR KHAN, BRAND APPEAL AND RULES OF THE GAME

First November, then January and now February – and in between a demanding, damning December – life has been difficult for Aamir Khan – since he decided to speak his mind about the ongoing ‘tolerance Vs intolerance’ row/debate.

While we can count valid reasons on why the government should have retained Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador for the ‘Incredible India’ campaign, the Snapdeal decision that was reported today sounds a regular fallout of the controversy.

That is simple, straight formula for celebrity brand endorsements. If some company pays a hefty amount for an Amitabh Bachchan or an Aamir Khan, it has every right to ensure everything goes right with its brand – with no probability of that ‘write-off’ scenario when the brand ambassador would start hurting the brand.

Yes, like the ‘Incredible India’ campaign, here, too, nothing is in absolute ‘black and white’ and there is much – like the rough financials of Snapdeal, an e-commerce retailer, and Aamir Khan’s high annual endorsement fee (reportedly Rs. 15 crore) – to read for (in between the lines).

It would have made sense for the government to retain Aamir Khan as the ‘Incredible India’ ambassador because it would have sent a positive message that we, as a nation, were resilient enough to decipher and discern about a viewpoint about something that was threatening to rupture the social weaving of the society.

Yes, we as a nation are resiliently tolerant – and that is why we all are stakeholders into any such development – and that is why we need to speak our minds – and Aamir Khan’s views on ‘rising intolerance’ should be seen in that context.

Yes, being a sensible celebrity with a mass appeal, Aamir Khan did cross the limits here – but given the nature of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign, promoting and selling India as a wholesome package – continuing with Aamir Khan could have proved, in fact, a boon. People would love the concept that India (and its government) was transparent enough to differing views – and was a tolerant society.

But that appeal is limited to campaigns like the ‘Incredible India’ series.

The same cannot be expected from profit driven corporate entities – like Snapdeal – or any other company.

Snapdeal, though illogical, was forced to distance from Aamir Khan’s intolerance remark in November and had to discontinue its advertising campaign. Aamir’s observation that his wife had discussed the possibility of leaving India after a raging debate on the growing incidents of intolerance made her concerned for their child’s security infuriated many and Snapdeal faced the brunt in the social media space with many uninstalling the Snapdeal app.

Though some reports say Snapdeal registered a surge in its app rankings in the period, still, any for-profit entity cannot afford a controversy-hit brand ambassador. The business of ‘corporate brand management’ that believes in ‘playing it safe’ doesn’t believe in that.

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