Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Flipkart's Moto G launch disaster. Difficult than buying a Tatkal ticket. #FLIPFAIL

Motorola decides to roll out Moto G in India with an exclusive tie-up with Flipkart, India's largest online retailer, at an attractive pricepoint. At this price it is competiting with local brands like Micromax, Karbon, et all. Plus this mobile gives customers a chance to own the latest technology from Google Motorola at an affordable pricepoint allowing them a thumbs-up in their social circle. (Yes Google sold Motorola's phone unit to Lenovo.. but its yet to officialy reflect.. so Moto G comes as a Google product.)

This is also a great opportunity for Flipkart to show its prowess and capability to its customers and other brands with whom it could do pre-launches or exclusive launches. This will provide another differentiator than price and service (timely and trusted). Plus this launch comes with national campaign in press with front page ads. But they made this their biggest flop. Over 100 poor ratings in less than 10 hours. The site was so slow that people found it more difficult than buying a Tatkal rail ticket (considered to be the biggest challenge for Indian customers.) It also couldnt get the system to cope up to this rush to be able to calculate discounts well on the Moto G backcovers that they promised. By the time customers resolved all these issues they found that their desired phone went Out of stock.

Maruti Sachin, a loyal Flipkart customer says, "..If you see my orders so far...I have been a constant buyer and I have reffered hell lot of friends to buy products from your website.
I waited for hell lot of time...for MOTO G. I have given email notification also.
Firstly notification failed. I never recieved any mail.
Secondly night 11:00 i saw its yet launch.
I slept off and woke up by 5 in morning to see its OUT OF STOCK ?"

Apurva says "Its waste of time to give rating about FK... Just 00:13 it was out of stock.. :( Donno why Google / Motorola has taken this option. Bad Decision."

Ramesh Vanapalli feels, "Tumse nahi hoga Flipkart !!. For first time I felt like IRCTC has a competitor (in) Flipkart. How can you market - Exclusive MotoG sales by keeping 100-200 phones in the warehouse in a #100cr Indian market. The other day, you were talking abt acquiring myntra, but I feel like - Myntra should acquire Flipkart."

Flipkart has now promised its customers to be back with more phones by 12 noon. But the barrage of negative reviews, disappointments and loss of trust will impact the brand in the long run. Plus if they are the only partners for Google in India, will they be able to source more phones and deliver on time at a short notice? And if they do, will people beleieve their Out of stock message.For customers, to see someone else in their group already own a Moto G and miss out on the chance to have been the first one to show off this mobile will always be a grudge against Flipkart .. atleast till their next purchase.

Was all this planned? To increase value of the product. I hope not. Becuse in that case the Flipkart's marketing team needs a revamp. A retailers primary task is to deliver the product. And do it well. So even if this Out of stock benefits Motorola in some small way, it will definitely not benefit Flipkart. Even for Motorola it would have been best to push as many Moto Gs into people hands before competitors react with slashed prices on their phones to compete with Moto G.


The phones are now available. But the site is plagued with buying and delivery issues. Rajhans Jakhmola heaves "finally booked it. hey i finally ordered it successfully after trying for so many hours with my frnds..everytime there was some problems in ordering bt finally i made it. "

Raghava is disappointed even after ordering as his 1 day paid shipment has got delayed for a week, "After ordering the 16 GB variant and completing the payment, I received a mail saying that the delivery schedule is postponed by a week. I had opted for 1 day delivery. What is the point in offering in a day guarantee delivery when the item will be shipped 1 week after the order??? This is very disappointing to say the least. .. In the event that the item will be delivered one week later than promised, why did you charge Rs. 90 extra for 'in-a-day guarantee' delivery." 

Ajay Srivastavat feels, "It's not about phone but the flipkart service which is annoying ....ordered this phone (16gb) today itself was promised to deliver on 10th feb later postponed the date to 17th feb which was not at all acceptable. .. KEEP UR PROMISE INTACT...."

This is also a nice time to ponder on Flipkart's rating methods. 

For a phone that hasnt yet reached in the hands of the Indian customers Flipkart has around 1000 reviews. Most reviews of 2 * and 1 * are for Flipkart's flopshow in delivering the mobile and not of the product. But these ratings add up to the product rating of Moto G. As a marketplace Flipkart should provide proper rating and review mechanism. This will allow it to be the preferred place for choosing a product (and thus get a chance to sell that product) like Amazon in the United States. Another golden opportunity for Flipkart to differentiate is thus being squandered. Flipkart, take notice and make ammends.

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