Flipkart says sorry for sale day glitches, but just look at these traffic numbers

Flipkart’s founders Sachin  Bansal and Binny Bansal (college-mates, not relatives).
Flipkart’s founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (college-mates, not relatives).
Image: Flipkart
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“Yesterday was a big day for us,” Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal wrote in an email to the online retailer’s customers today. “And we really wanted it to be a great day for you.”

But Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale on 6 October eventually didn’t go according to plan, instead getting pilloried by consumers online and turning into a public relations disaster for the Bangalore-based firm.

So the founders apologized, explaining how they had exerted much effort preparing but just couldn’t keep up with the magnitude of shoppers—or the sheer demand for products—in the end. “We had deployed nearly 5000 servers and had prepared for 20 times the traffic growth,” they wrote, “but the volume of traffic at different times of the day was much higher than this.”

Apart from that apology note, Flipkart also released some incredible numbers about the sale.

One billion hits across devices and over a million downloads of Flipkart’s mobile app. “That also means that our website got more traffic than Facebook in India and that our mobile app usage exceeded that of Whatsapp,” the company said in a release.

Two million items were sold, with a total of 1.5 million people shopping on Monday. More than 10 sellers on Flipkart’s marketplace did a years’ worth of business each in a single day.

$100 million, Flipkart’s target for the entire sales, was achieved in just 10 hours. The company sold 60 items per second, including a TV every second. Five lakh mobile devices were also sold, as were five lakh units from the online retailer’s fashion category.

6,000 pin codes, across 1,000 Indian cities, will have to be visited by Flipkart’s delivery team of over 10,000 as a result of a single day’s sales.

Flipkart’s homegrown rival, Snapdeal, meanwhile, also cashed in on the online shopping spree between 3rd and 5 October when it saw sales jump by 100%.

As a result, Snapdeal sold a pair of footwear every 10 seconds, a watch every 20 seconds and a saree every 30 seconds. A smartphone was purchased on the website every six seconds, a laptop every 20 seconds and a tablet every 30 seconds. In all, Snapdeal recorded the highest jump in total transactions in the last two-and-a-half years.

And for Flipkart, after the brickbats on Monday, there were some kinder words on Twitter.

Also read: The real reason why India’s shopping websites are at each other’s throats this week and Flipkart’s mega sale day is proving to be a public relations nightmare