Flipkart is unleashing its five-day pre-Diwali ‘Big Billion Days’ sales tomorrow and it is not just online consumers who are being pampered. Bengaluru-based Flipkart has taken measures to ensure that its employees, who are the ones who will ensure that the sales happen smoothly, are taken care of and are at the top of their game throughout the sale period of five days.The company shared that it is offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and all-day short eats on all five days. Employees, many of whom will be in office round-the-clock, will have sleeping and shower facilities. They will also have shuttle service till 7pm; vehicles for pick-up and drop. Security personnel will accompany women employees travelling after 8pm.
This is not all—there is even 24X7 ambulance service for those who find the stress a little too much and masseurs on-call to soothe tired muscles.
These are just some of the steps Flipkart has taken to ensure that the problems of last year are not repeated this time around. Last year, Flipkart had a single-day ‘Big Billion Sale’on October 6. It hit sales of $100 million; Snapdeal, which also had a sale, declared similar sales numbers. But snags, site collapses and other issues on Flipkart overshadowed the sales.
The deals stopped within seven hours—by 2pm—as the traffic was too huge. About 3,00,000 orders were placed in the first six hours, but social media was flooded with complaints of the website crashing, and prices being raised to make the offers look better. Beside the technical errors, many products being out of stock disgruntled consumers. Flipkart’s Founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, in fact, tendered an email apology to its customers the next day.
This time around, India’s top online retail site is not taking chances. An executive, who did not wish to be named as he is working closely on the sales, said additional data centres have been set up to ensure that the app—this time it is an app-only event—stays up. “We have learnt from last year’s experience. We did $100 million in one day and would have done more if there were no issues. Considering the preparations, the mood in the office is very upbeat,” said the executive.
Among the preparations are initiatives meant for sellers participating in the sales, like helping them hire trained manpower and providing training to manage high demand. Flipkart has also invested heavily in logistics in recent months. It opened a five-lakh cubic feet warehouse exclusively for consumer electronics and durables earlier this month. “With Flipkart Big Billion Days just around the corner, the new warehouse will help us improve the productivity and meet the anticipated demand during this period,” Binny Bansal, COO & Co-founder of Flipkart, had said at the time of the warehouse’s launch.
The merchant and employee support Flipkart is providing shows that the over $15-billion valued Unicorn means business. Tuesday will show how truly well prepared Flipkart is.