India-based Flipkart's mega online sale termed "Flopkart" by irate shoppers

Flipkart launched its Big Billion Day Sale online on Monday. It was touted as the biggest sale in India. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FLIPKART.COM
Flipkart launched its Big Billion Day Sale online on Monday. It was touted as the biggest sale in India. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FLIPKART.COM

E-commerce company Flipkart's mega sale on Monday gained them a billion hits on their website and millions worth in sales, but also provoked the ire of many online shoppers.

Flipkart, which is registered in Singapore but operates exclusively in India, launched its Big Billion Day Sale online on Monday. It was touted as the biggest sale in India, with a host of great deals and discounts of up to 80 per cent across 70 categories of products.

However, various problems with the sale caused online shoppers to see red.

Shoppers griped that orders disappeared from their carts, and that products were out of stock shortly after the sale commenced, especially for items going at significant discounts. Others said error pages showed up when they attempted to purchase items, which hinted at an overworked Flipkart server.

Another major grievance that shoppers had was that the company appeared to have marked up their prices for items before offering large discounts. This was revealed by shoppers who compared prices of their desired item against the pricing of other sites.

These issues prompted irate online shoppers to term Flipkart's sale a pricing scam, "Big Billion Fool's Day" and "Flopkart".

Sounding unperturbed by all the online outrage, Flipkart said in a statement on Monday evening that it had "created history in Indian e-commerce."

"We got a billion hits on our site today and achieved our 24 hour sales target of 100 million rupees (S$2,072,621) in GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) in just 10 hours," said Flipkart's founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.

On the multitude of server problems and error messages, the Bansals told website DNA India in a statement: "Our technology team has been dedicated towards addressing errors and providing constant support to accommodate the largest scale of traffic and customer visits e-commerce has witnessed across the country."

brynasim@sph.com.sg