Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Flipkart shamed the Indian e-commerce space!

From Flipkart to Emptycart to Flopkart - Ab such me possible!

6 Oct was planned to be a historic day for this so called 'biggest' e-commerce player in India. And the marketing was good enough to support the endeavor. And yes, the consumers did respond to the anticipation and thronged to the e-commerce site with the details of the banker ready for the plunge.

Initially the consumers couldn't open the webpage itself and had to wait minutes for the site to respond. Later deals vanished the moment you clicked on it. And to top it many customers couldn't clear the payment transaction itself which made the experience all more agonizing. The experience just did not stop here. Hours after the orders were confirmed, Flipkart team reverts with the message that the order has been automatically cancelled! Just say, WTF! Later, the Customer Care team doesn't bother to respond as well and all queries end up unattended.

Well done Flipkart! For offers which were both overhyped and overpriced - the overall site experience itself become all more agonizing. You surely lost the 'TRUST' factor which you gained in past 7 years.

No amount of efforts from competition (say Snapdeal, Amazon, eBay) would have given them an edge over Flipkart. But, just 1 bad day has spoiled your reputation. And surely this message from Sachin and Binny Bansal will make it all more destructive for the brand. Would have expected the guys to correct it by working on the failed orders rather than posting a sorry figure -

"Dear Customer, 

Yesterday was a big day for us. And we really wanted it to be a great day for you. But at the end of the day, we know that your experience was less than pleasant. We did not live up to the promises we made and for that we are really and truly sorry. 

It took enormous effort from everyone at Flipkart, many months of preparation and pushing our capabilities and systems to the limit to be able to create this day. We were looking at fulfilling the dreams of millions of Indian consumers through deals and offers we had painstakingly put together for months. 

And though we saw unprecedented interest in our products and traffic like never before, we also realized that we were not adequately prepared for the sheer scale of the event. We didn't source enough products and deals in advance to cater to your requirements. To add to this, the load on our server led to intermittent outages, further impacting your shopping experience on our site. 

An unprecedented 1.5 million people shopped at Flipkart yesterday. While we stand humbled by the sheer faith that such a large number of customers have shown in us, we are unhappy that we were unable to live up to the expectations of millions more who wanted to buy from us yesterday. 

And this is not acceptable to us. 

Delighting you, and every single one of our customers, is absolutely the top most priority for Flipkart and we have worked very hard over the last seven years to earn your trust. Yesterday, we failed that trust. We have learnt some valuable lessons from this and have started working doubly hard to address all the issues that cropped up during this sale. 

Price Changes As we were preparing various deals and promotional pricing in the lead up to the sale, the pricing of several products got ​changed to their non-discounted rates for a few hours​. We realise that this breaks the trust our customers have put in us. We are truly sorry for this and will ensure that this never happens again. 

Out-of-stock Issues We ran out of the stock for many products within a few minutes (and in some cases, seconds) of the sale going live. For example, most of our special deals were sold out as soon as they went live. We had ensured availability, anywhere from hundreds to a few lakh units for various products, but it was nowhere near the actual demand. We promise to plan much better for future promotions and ensure that we minimise the out-of-stock issues. 

Cancellations We had large number of people buying specific products simultaneously. This led to some instances of an order getting over-booked for a product that was sold out just a few seconds ago. We are working round-the-clock to ensure availability of additional units for these products and will do our level best to ensure that we minimise any cancellations. 

Website Issues ​We realise that the shopping experience for many of you was frustrating due to errors and unavailability of the website at times. We had deployed nearly 5000 servers and had prepared for 20 times the traffic growth - but the volume of traffic at different times of the day was much higher than this. We are continuing to significantly scale up all our back end systems so that we do a much, much better job next time. 

Everything that we have achieved at Flipkart is purely on the basis of our customer's trust and faith. This is why we come to work each day and continue to remain extremely passionate about building the best possible customer experience for Indian consumers. We failed to live up to this promise yesterday and would like to apologise once again to every single customer for our failure. 

Thank you. 
Sachin and Binny"

One important note to Sachin & Binny - 'Never make a promise which you can't keep'

Note - the writer is yet another victim of the Billiondaysale at Flipkart and try express the public concern on the website's failure to respond to the customer's expectations. 

Indian Car Sales Figures - September 2014

September 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - August 2014

August 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India
August marked the beginning of the festivities with Janmashtmi and Ganesha Chaturthi - but was the fervor around the auto industry as well? To a certain extent yes. While the biggies (say Maruti & Hyundai) witnessed YoY growth, homegrown MNC's Mahindra & Tata continued to take the hit. August saw a spurt in terms of big launches - the 'Zest', Punto 'Evo' & i20 'Elite' saw life in the month. The new launches are very promising and crucial for their respective OE's to cash in the festive demand and make a mark in their respective segments. 
Source : The Hindu
The biggest launch of the season has to be the 'Zest' - in short Tata Motors' future lies in this critical launch. Tata have tried all the formula's to make this product a success - like revamping dealer facility, assuring 3+3+3 (free 3 years warranty + 3 yrs maintenance + 3 yrs Roadside Assistance), load it with plethora of features (like cheapest diesel automatic?) and price it attractive. The latest news announces 10k bookings already garnered by the carline. Can the buzz grow and sustain to the required levels? - the product does have the potential. 

Similarly 'Elite' i20 promises to offer the best-in-class features and unseen luxury for the segment. Hyundai's New Product Development has been envious for sure! The Elite scores in all parameters - right from looks to driveability, from comfort to features that no other car in the segment or even in the higher segment can boast of. The challenge for Hyundai would still remain on maintaining its focus on its ENTIRE portfolio and avoid cannibalization. Grand has already eaten into i10's market share (i10 which was averaging at around 6k units per month has dropped to 2.5k units/mth!) and lets hope elite does not shudder grand's/Xcent's/Verna's pie. Verna by itself is facing stiff competition from the segment leader City and sees tougher challenge from Ciaz. Can Ciaz make the race more interesting? - lets wait for Sep'14 numbers for that.

Maruti continues to deliver stupendously on ALL its carlines. Alto pleasantly jumps back to the 20k+ mark and the trend is positive for its siblings Wagon R, Ritz, Swift & Dzire as well. These 4 cars proudly continue to rule in the Top 5 charts yet again. Celerio has somewhat managed to fill the gap of Estilo & A-star - I somehow am not impressed with the volumes the brand is able to garner. It is a tough push for Ertiga - and it hovers around 4.5k units. SX4 offtake diminishes basis the upcoming 'Ciaz' launch. Maruti happily milks the Omni, Eeco & Gypsy brands - see the offtake numbers and be surprised :)

Honda lives its dream run and that too with style! The Jap OEM has already overtaken M&M in July'14 as the third biggest Passenger car OEM and easily achieves the feat in Aug'14 as well. It leaves no space for M&M to regain its spot. However, the production constraint has left the OEM blue-faced - 757 shipments of the new Honda City is just not fair! We have observed irregular production schedule for the carmaker and is not positive in long run. 
Mobilio manages to meet our expectation and offtake of 5530 units is exemplary. Honda has to focus on rapidly increasing its production as per the demand to meet customer expectations and pose a real challenge to its Korean counterpart (Hyundai).

Ford achieves the feat of sales of over 1Lakh Ecosport in just within 14 months! However, only 60% of the sales were in the Indian market - an Irony how the car which was Made for India and Made in India is NOT made readily available in India. Ford really needs to learn from Honda in terms of taking the plunge and giving the Indian market the importance it deserves. No longer an Ecosport customer would wait for the car - rather he'll opt out for a City or a Elite i20 or even a Mobilio. 

M&M needs some serious introspection currently - with the petrol prices dropping and diesel increasing the Indian major is facing some real threat from the market conditions. It's rural stronghold is now being challenged by the new entrants (see the rapid expansion drive of the Renault's & the Ford's). Its marque Bolero has not touched the 10k mark for 5 months in a row now! Scorpio sees a sudden fall in numbers - facelift expected shortly? Verito, Vibe, Quanto are in the extinction mode. Rexton faces tougher avenues in lieu of the Fortuner & Santa Fe. Xylo still pushes itself around.

The Datsun couldn't leverage on the India story - cannot see any reason why the brand should not perform! It made a breakthrough entry but not sustain! The OEM needs to be aggressive in front of the Maruti's and the Hyundai's or else it wont survive. Terrano settles at 1.5k average and manages itself to gain on the Duster hype. The 'new' Sunny could not revive the brand and still faces anonymity in the segment. 

The 'new' Polo gains momentum and the brand touches the 2.8k mark after 11 months. The capable hatchback still faces challenge bcoz of its pricing and low dealer network. Can the facelift lift the brand? Only time will tell.

A look on the top 20 cars for August 2014 -

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - July 2014

July 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India
A look on the top 20 cars for July 2014 -

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - June 2014

June 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India
A look on the top 20 cars for June 2014 -

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - May 2014

Source: Sahara Samay
Source : ET
May 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India

Monday, May 5, 2014

Indian Car Sales Figures - April 2014

April 2014 Sales Figures - Pan India

KEY OEM PERFORMANCE -

 
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