The big e-commerce battle has already begun. E-commerce giants are playing ambush marketing tactics to belittle one another. Even a brick-and-mortar retail giant has also plunged into this marketing warfare. We have witnessed all these in last few days. Here’s a detailed analysis of the ongoing marketing mudslinging and let us figure out who is coming out as a winner and who is behaving as an opportunistic wannabe.
Snapdeal was the one who started the bout. It’s when the whole nation saw frontpage print ad of Flipkart’s Big Billion Day Sale, on 6th October in leading newspaper TOI. Flipkart had been campaigning about their biggest-sale-ever in India from last few days. People were really excited and were expecting a lot from this sale. It’s because Flipkart has spent millions of rupees for making this momentum among its customers. Suddenly, Snapdeal came into the game and attacked Flipkart by taking the place just beside the Flipkart’s advert in the newspaper on the same day. Their ad says, “For others, it’s a big day. For us, it’s no different. Best savings. Gauranteed. Check Snapdeal before you buy.” That’s commendable. Not just because they ambushed Flipkart, but because they ambushed them with a genuine and valid point. If you are a frequent e-commerce buyer, you must know that Snapdeal offers products at lower prices than Flipkart on any regular day.
Furthermore, Flipkart could not able to manage the enormous traffic and had numerous glitches on their platform on this biggest sale of the nation. From overpricing the products to automatically cancellation of the ordered products. All these things led customers to log on to their competitors, Snapdeal and Amazon. These competitors were also the biggest winners of this Big Billion Day, ironically, they were not the ones who organized it. Amazon also played very well by acquiring the domain name, BigBillionDay.com, which redirected the users to their website, Amazon.in. Additionally, Amazon also seemed to have bought the keyword flipkart for the day, as amazon advertisements appeared on pages that had the keyword flipkart. So every website that displayed Google ads, automatically got amazon ads to show up on pages that had the keyword flipkart. Aha! Amazon implemented this amazing idea very amazingly.
Therefore, Flipkart’s biggest day also became biggest profitable day for its competitors, too. Reportedly, they sold products worth of $100 million (600cr rupees) on that day. But, they also attracted a lot criticism from disappointed customers, who eventually reacted on social media platforms. Nevertheless, they claimed that their website got more traffic than Facebook in India and that their mobile app usage exceeded that of Whatsapp in India, which is quite exciting for them. Additionally, Flipkart’s founders, Sachin and Binny Bansal, circulated a detailed apology letter to all its customers. I must say, it was very well crafted, humble and looked as they have taken the responsibility for their online gaffe. I was also very much disappointed by Flipkart’s online debacle. The moment I read the letter from the founders, my brand perception got completely rejuvenated. That is the power of a genuine and humble apology. It looked as if a good old friend is apologizing for inadvertently hurting his friend. That is what gave Flipkart a human touch. Have a feel of the letter. On the next day, Kishor Biyani led Future Group, which is a leading FMCG group of the country, jumped into the war and tried to leverage out of the ongoing battle. But in my opinion, it does not work. Because, they were not the first one to attack Flipkart, they followed Snapdeal, which projected them as an emulator. Because their ad was quite similar as Snapdeal. They behaved like a wannabe. Have a look of their print ad.
This Big Billion Day turned out to be a biggest day of course for Flipkart, for making massive sales in just one day. For Snapdeal, for successfully getting an excellent mileage without spending much on ads. And undoubtedly for Amazon, for making big sales on competitor’s biggest day, and also for taking ‘free lessons’ from Flipkart about what ‘not-to-do’ on their own biggest sale, which has been started from Oct 10 to 16.
In the end, Snapdeal similarly targeted Amazon’s sale, too. It again took the immediate next page to the Amazon’s ad writing just the hashtag, ‘#CheckSnapdealToday’. Wow! Snapdeal has very well understood the nation’s affection for social media and they cleverly leveraged it. Snapdeal is the one who deserves praises for successfully ambushing both his competitors. At the same time, they should also make sure that it shoud not be done continuously. Otherwise, in customers’ mind their positioning will be as a market challenger or a follower and not as a leader.
Please feel free to share your thoughts. I would be glad if you give me your feedback in comments. 🙂