eCommerce success depends a lot on channeling the effort in the right direction and identifying the right time. What better than the festive season to reap the benefits, right? The festive season ignited an eCommerce war last year. What’s in store for this year as the festive season is a stone’s throw away!
Millions of dollars of funding, investments pouring in, the innovations happening across multiple platforms, including print & digital headlined the last festive season. In terms of the eCommerce bigwigs, the ‘so-called’ war was poised for a huge success. However, the bright light was a bit short-lived. The eCommerce portals were not functioning at par & the companies had to face the wrath of the consumers. “The Big Billion Day” sale, does it ring any bells? The Flipkart sale that was launched amidst so much chaos turned out to be a dampener. The logistics and infrastructure clearly failed to live up to the customer demands. Hordes of shoppers took to the Social Media to vent their anger and frustration to showcase their protest. And, the Flipkart founders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal had to tender a public apology. So, what was the cause of the debacle? I would say, too many expectations and too many technical glitches. However, the Flipkart episode has proved to be a learning curve for the various big-scale and small-scale eCommerce businesses to satiate the festive rush this year.
The idea of a flash sale was relatively new to the Indian audience and the eCommerce bigwigs alike. Flipkart did come up with something new and even succeeded in implementing it in the online market. However, there have been multiple developments in the field of eCommerce in the last calendar year. The new ventures are now decked with money and logistical support & the Indian online shopper’s wallet has also got fatter. Moreover, both the sellers and the buyers have got a proper gist of the festive season sale process. The sellers are expecting a minimum 40 to 50 percent increase in the demand for products and the buyers are well-equipped with the latest technology & apps to buy. Many online food ordering solution providers are recruiting a new fleet of delivery boys, especially for the festive season. For a number of new eCommerce entrants in the market, this will be their first festive season. With the influx of money, the majority of the new ventures has channeled the money to build better back-end infrastructure to handle the demand surge. In case of the hyper local startup Zopper, they have underwritten demand with third-party logistics partners, so that they will always have dedicated logistics support. Zopper is a mobile-app startup that connects users to offline retailers. Same is the case with Urban Ladder, they have upgraded their ERP and CRM systems to handle the expected high volumes. “We were clocking 15% month-on-month growth till August and we expect this to rise to 25% in the next three months,” Rajiv Srivatsa, COO and co-founder, says. Taking things a notch higher, BigBasket has implemented an algorithm-based system that is equipped to predict demand surges and alert the operations team. “While we don’t see huge demand spikes during the festive season the way a normal e-tailer would do, we are ready for any unprecedented surges. The demand for staples go up along with increased orders for dry fruits and gift boxes. Also, a 2x surge for us is the same as a 50x surge for Flipkart due to the sheer number of smaller items in one single order,” said Vipul Parekh, co-founder of the venture.
eCommerce firms of all sizes, old and new are implementing several measures to make sure that they top the pile of success this festive season. The festive season can rake in big moolah & the eCommerce portals seem to be ready to wage an eCommerce war this festive season.