Learning from last year’s glitches, Flipkart is taking no chances this time and has geared up to make its Big Billion Day’s sale starting next week hassle-free through upgrades in technology, logistics and the seller base. “We are ramping up our logistics and during the festive season we will have over 19,000 delivery boys, including those from Ekart, delivering to over 40,000 pin codes across India,” said Ankit Nagori, chief business officer at Flipkart.
The company is adding three warehouses including one at Dadri near New Delhi. Ekart is the company’s own logistics arm. This time, the sale will be of a longer duration and restricted to the app. “On an average, we get about 75% of our traffic through mobile-only devices. We expect it to peak during the discount sale to over 80%,” said Nagori.
Last year, Flipkart’s Big Billion Day saw sales of merchandise of over Rs 600 crore in 10 hours and the one-day flash sale was marred with technical and logistical glitches. Flipkart apologised to customers, acknowledging that their experience was less than pleasant. To ensure that sellers stock enough and deliver on time, the company is offering four outperforming sellers return flight tickets to Paris, besides iPads for over a dozen star sellers.
Last year, several customers reported automatic cancellation of orders after sellers ran out of stock. To avoid server crashes, Flipkart has installed its own data centres across major metros and will manage online traffic inhouse, unlike last year, when it relied on outsourced vendors.