Flipkart’s ‘Big Billion Days’ sale has yet again run into glitches this year, and this time the e-commerce giant is tendering apologies to its sellers in Agra whose products have been removed from the site for almost two days now due to delivery issues. Various vendors in the city ET spoke to complained that Flipkart has blocked their products to be sold on its e-commerce site amid a rush of consumers.
They said the listings of their products were not visible on the company’s website since the second day of the mega sale event after they saw major traction on Tuesday, the first day of sale.
“We were waiting for the Big Billion Days sale and have kept ourselves adequately stocked to meet the consumer demands. We got six times more order than what we usually get, on the first day of the event. But on the second day we were surprised to see our orders fell to zero. This is when we realized that something is wrong,” said an Agra-based vendor who sells artificial jewellery on Flipkart.
One footwear vendor who received around 120 orders on day one said he has not been able to dispatch the whole order even on the third day because Flipkart’s logistics partner is only collecting partial orders, saying they have been asked only to collect certain orders owing to huge demand.
Experts said this reveals gaps in Flipkart’s logistics as the company has failed to cope with the huge amount of business the Big Billion Days is generating this year as well.
The mega sale event had run into glitches last year when the Flipkart website crashed several times and thousands of customers complained about products being sold out even before they could hit the buy button. There were also complaints of company intentionally increasing the original prices of some products to make the discount look bigger.
Manish Maheshwari, vice president and head of sellers’ ecosystem at Flipkart, said consumer demand this time is around 40% more than the 3-4 times increase the company had expected “and there are implications of that”.
“Being a marketplace, everything that is ordered by the consumer has to be supplied by the seller. And we have limited capacity in terms of how many people we have and how many collections we can do in a day,” said Maheshwari.
“So, it might be true that for a day we might have switched off the pick up from the Agra hub and therefore sellers in this region would have been impacted,” he said.
“But they might have received enough demand on day one. This is a temporary block and we switch them back again once the backlog is cleared up,” he added.
According to the Agra vendors, they got an automated message from Flipkart on their seller account: “To ensure customers receive their orders on time and have a great experience buying your products, we have to temporarily restrict the order flow for sellers in your area. We will be reverting to normal order flow by tomorrow morning or as soon as the situation eases up. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for the continued support.”