Online Offers: Real Or Gimmick ?

The fact that consumers these days prefer online to mall shopping is no news and online retailers, trying to encash on this buying behaviour left no stones unturned by announcing several offers in the recent past. To begin with, Flipkart announced their ‘Flipkart Big Billion Day’ on October 6th, 2014 right at the midst of the festivals, to attract customers to their site.

This was soon followed by ‘Amazon Diwali Dhamaka Week’ sale from October 6th to 10th wherein they offered tremendous discounts ranging from 60% to 90% on an array of products on their website. Snapdeal also followed suit with its ‘Snapdeal Diwali Bumper Sale’ offer wherein it offered upto 90% discount on selected items.

Such heavy discounts and slashed prices, surely attracted consumers to online shopping; and not to mention, the vendors enjoyed massive traffic on their websites too. However, a deeper look into it will spill the beans on how many of the thousands customer were actually satisfied and got what they wanted out of this entire hullabaloo.

First things first, Flipkart, which started this discount game invited numerous flaks from its visitors, as it was riddled with problems. Before the sale even began, controversy gathered as people noticed that the prices of some of the products were being raised back to the MRP instead of the actual selling price. Also, there were numerous post-sale issues as the vendor struggled hard to keep up with the demand; many of the orders received were never delivered to the customers.

Amazon India’s ‘Online Diwali Dhamaka Week Sale’ failed to generate the desired spark among the consumers, courtesy its rival Flipkart’s ‘Big Billion Day’ sale debacle. The sale flopped as Amazon India site crashed and the deals were also not very luring.

This entire episode made us stop and think if the ‘sale’ thing was really to pull customers or was it a marketing gimmick to get rid of old/piled-up stock? While whatever the reason be, we can be sure of one thing-online shopping is definitely here to stay.