Ever since online shopping sites like Flipkart, Amazon, and Myntra opened its doors to the Indian users, there was no looking back for shopaholics – they were gifted with what they had always dreamed of and for them, shopping had never been easier.
Over the past few years, online shopping has risen to a great level, and has practically become a favourite past-time for many. And owing to the ever-growing demand for quality products online, sales competition has become a whole new ball game.
The tug-of-war between online stores has therefore become quite comical, what with Flipkart running a flop show on its Big Billion Day, and Amazon trying to out-do its rivals by hosting a more sophisticated ‘Prime Day’ event – and failing miserably to garner more public support, if I say so myself. Their tactics have only managed to make them look bad in a highly public forum.
During both the events, the process was quite similar – it started with a huge publicity stunt, followed by a promise of giving away mind-blowing discounts on a high range of products, followed by products disappearing from online shelves and discounts being shown on selected items, followed by widespread criticism on social media. However, one can also say, just for the sake of argument, that any publicity is also good publicity.
Alas, in Flipkart and Amazon’s case, one should consider how negativity flowed more generously as compared to sympathies and regrets. Indeed, bad publicity does not always sit well with the public’s mindset.
However, healthy competition between online shopping stores always means well – because for one, it shows how much power the public yields, and how desperately retailers work towards fulfilling every tiny little wish of a single buyer. It not only gives us, the consumer, an amazing ego boost, but also ensures quality products to be available at all times. And then again, it also adds some spice to an otherwise dull life – it actually gives people something to look forward to in the online sphere.
Criticism has always been, and will remain a bag and parcel of social and/or financial intercourse. The excitement actually lies in the experience, and ought to be savoured by all.
— Now it might have sounded highly elitist, but we must agree on how that becomes a completely different topic to comment on. —
Having said that, what becomes even more laughable is the entry of a social media in the e-commerce department. Mr. Zuckerburg’s decision to allow Facebook users to shop instantly from a company’s Facebook page, instead of directing them to their main website raises doubts regarding the credibility of a social site contesting with other, more genuine shopping sites for the public’s support.
The move also questions the need to make a platform, which was solely meant for social interaction, lean more towards finances and monetary exploits. At a time when every thought directs itself to economic gains, monetizing Facebook and bridging the gap between consumers and sellers in such a manner deserves nothing less than contempt and disapproval.
The decision to enable a “Buy” button on Facebook will doubtlessly give a financial boost to the concerned authority, resulting from partnerships with various companies, but the questions remains as to why a social media should get involved in the marketing cycle.
Will Facebook become another Flipkart – selling its users half baked ideas and schemes, and ruining its fabulous reputation, in the process?
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.