Online e-tailer Flipkart had it’s much publicised BillionDay Sale on 6/10. The one day sale attracted millions of buyers and resulted in sales of around $100 million for the e-commerce giant. But alongwith the money came a lot of -ve publicity on social media where unsuccessful luckless buyers vented their frustration at not being able to fall prey to the sale tactics of Flipkart. Notwithstanding it’s obvious glee at the profits garnered, Flipkart sent out an emotion filled apology letter to most of it’s customers explaining it’s inadequacy at being able to fulfill everyone’s ambitions of getting cheap junk at ridiculous prices.
But not the company faces more ire, this time for brick and mortar retailers who have complained to the Commerce Ministry Govt of India. Their main concerns centered around the fact that they are becoming obsolete and irrelevant in the age of e-selling. Minister of Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman promised to look into their concerns and demands.
Informed sources in the ministry tell us that the govt soon plans to bring in new regulation to solve the problems faced by shopkeepers. This new ordinance will be called DESPO – Discounts & other E-Commerce Sale Prevention Ordinance. It plans to regulate websites like Flipkart by the following provisions:
1.No product will offered with a discount higher than the max discount available on it in any shop of the same city as the buyer. 2.No person will be able to avail of sale offers on more than 2 online websites in a day. 3.If any product is returned to the e-tailer, same cannot be bought at any other online retailer, it has to be bought at a local store. 4.To prevent people from trying out stuff in local stores and then buying online, it is decide that more than 3 try-ons or more than 30 minutes spent in a single store enquiring for a product will deemed to be an automatic sale. 5.If any flyer regarding a local store sale is left at your doorstep, then those products advertised in that flyer cannot be bought online for a period of 30 days from the end of that local store sale. 6.Online retailers cannot conduct more than 2 twitter/facebook contests in a month.
With these revolutionary regulations the ministry hopes to bring online and shop based retailers on a level playing field at being able to fleece customers. “both should have an equal opportunity at getting their hands on shoppers money” said a ministry source.