It’s trying times for e-commerce companies in India, and the tensions appear to be spilling over to social media. Amazon and Flipkart fans have traded allegations on Twitter over Flipkart stealing the show as Amazon tried to launch the Moto G4.
Mobile phone launches in India are often done exclusively with one major retailer. There’s much anticipation around these events, and phones that are popular sell out in minutes. Amazon had planned such a launch for the Moto G4, the latest Mororola phone. The launch had been heavily advertised, and anticipation was high. But in an apparent case of ambush marketing, Flipkart decided to lower prices of all Moto phones on its platform the very same day Amazon’s sale was going to go live.
Flipkart went out with identical announcements in papers. Flipkart’s annoucement took the sheen off Amazon’s Moto G4 launch, as while the latest Moto phone wasn’t available on Flipkart, lots of earlier models were being given away at large discounts. This was expected to hit the sales of the G4.
Understandably, some Amazon customers weren’t pleased with the move.
— Tapan Tyagi (@Itapantyagi) May 18, 2016
— Najmun Nissa (@happychirpings) May 18, 2016
— Jesus (@krmayank13) May 18, 2016
Such was the vociferousness of the response that #SoreLoserFlipkart is the top Indian trend on twitter as of 7:28 pm. But now, interestingly, counter allegations are starting to come in.
— rohit yagnik (@rohittrix) May 18, 2016
While OfficeChai couldn’t independently verify these claims, it’s not impossible that certain people are being paid to tweet on a particular topic. It had been brought to light during the launch of the Infibeam IPO, and it had emerged that people were tweeting out messages from brands for as little as Rs. 10. But there have been no reports yet of a brand paying people to malign a competitor, and those accusations seem a lot more serious.
While neither company has yet commented on the issue, one thing is certain – things are getting heated in the Indian e-commerce wars.