Okay. Snapdeal and Flipkart have outdone each other on two things:
1. Advertising Spend.
2. #BigFail. We still don’t know who failed fast and continues to fail with offers (and products) that never were.
Here is what is happening:
– Most of the hot deals weren’t really available after the first 5 minutes of shopping.
– Your user experience and infrastructure failed to match the expectation.
Instead of marketing chutzpah, here is what we recommend to both of you.
1. Streamline your process.
The truth is that consumers aren’t looking for 99% off deals, but all they are looking for is better deals than the ones offered elsewhere. Importantly, better experience than buying from offline stores.
For instance, Flipkart decides to remove comments and reviews from product pages for faster pageload. Is that a great experience? Is that a ‘Flipkart’ experience? Is that something you are proud of?
How can one correlate this to buying from offline stores? How is online helping buying decisions, when you remove some of these important elements from the site? All you expect from your customers is to practice ‘fastest finger first’ and buy?
That brings us to the next point.
2. Respectability, Anyone?
What’s with increasing price of products, a day before the deal? How respectable is that? By doing such cheap tricks, you are just opening up ways for competition to come and hurt you where-it-matters.
Remember, people don’t have any loyalty.
By falsifying a deal, you are disrespecting the customers and their intellect. You are running against time till they figure out ‘oh shit! that 45% off was a fake one. This was anyways the current MRP’.
3. Stop this useless game of advertising.
Eat This : None of you have any brand loyalty.
People don’t care whether they are buying from Snapdeal or Flipkart or Amazon [Mask your logo and ask customers if they can identify any differentiation.]
With every marketing spend, you are acquiring transactions and NOT users. They are not yours.
Create Value. Not Valuation.
Learn from Amazon (US). They own the customer. [Read : Ecommerce Companies I will Invest In. ]
4. Spend on Infrastructure.
Imagine if you had spent half of your marketing budget on setting up great infrastructure and logistics. Remember that you are better off serving 1000 happy customers than NOT meeting expectations of 10,000 (unhappy) ones.
Not that you aren’t spending on infrastructure, but marketing team needs to collaborate better with DevOps/Network operations and product teams (do they even talk to each other?).
For now, this BillionDay and marketing gimmick is a dud, though I am sure you have bought enough of media to propogate your success.
We just hope that the real consumer (who isn’t so active on social media) is not giving up on buying from ecommerce stores and their marketing chutzpah.