E-commerce giant Flipkart's founders and top executives are personally delivering orders to customers, as the company attempts to silence critics after drawing flak for problems related to product delivery and payment during the ongoing festive season sales.
Those doing the rounds in Bangalore include founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, chief product officer Punit Soni and chief business officer Ankit Nagori. Mukesh Bansal, head of the e-commerce business, and KV Anand, senior vice-president of customer experience, are also out in the field.
The move comes after Flipkart faced criticism that its 'Big Billion Days' sales initiative, aimed at boosting revenue during the festive season, ran into problems. According to a report in The Times of India, a number of vendors complained that their products were taken off the website without any prior notice. It reported that vendors in Agra who faced the problem received an automated email that said the company had to "temporarily restrict" the order flow for sellers in the area and that it would revert to normal flow as early as possible.
Some hiccups were also reported around the time offers for mobile phones went live on Thursday. Some customers alleged that Flipkart raised the original prices of certain products to make discounts look more attractive. However, the overall customer experience appears to be better than last year.
The initiative seems to carry some echoes from the past. Flipkart had launched a similar sale last festive season as well, but had received a lot of criticism on social media after its website crashed, its stock ran out and customers complained that discounts were puffed up.
This year's sale started on October 13 and ends on October 17. The company claims it has sold more than 10 lakh products and saw six million visits on its app in the first 10 hours of the sale. It also claims to have sold more than 500,000 mobile phones, of which 75 per cent were 4G phones, in the first 10 hours of starting handset sales on October 14.
Flipkart's rivals also have launched festive season offers to boost sales. Paytm is running its 'Navratri Home and Kitchen' sale and 'Paytm se Stadium' offer while Amazon is running the 'Great Indian Festive Sale'. Snapdeal isn't far behind; it has launched its 'Yeh Diwali Dil ki Deal Wali' campaign, more than a month before the festival of lights will be celebrated in November.
Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl took a dig at the technical glitches that Facebook faced and boasted about his company's better performance.
Snapdeal's chief product officer Anand Chandrashekhar said in a tweet that 85 per cent orders during the festive sales had been shipped within 24 hours and 100 per cent delivered on time.
Snapdeal launched its season sale on October 12, a day ahead of major rivals Flipkart and Amazon. Snapdeal claims it shipped five million orders during the first three days of its pre-Diwali sale. This included about 70,000 units of large-size products such as TVs and furniture. The Delhi-based e-tailer said it recorded a 350 per cent increase in new customers and claimed to have recorded million app downloads on the first day itself.