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BW Businessworld

The Discount Fireworks

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It is said when elephants fight, the grass gets trampled. What happens when e-tailers wrestle each other? Offline stores are hit. Even before Diwali crackers could go off, we have seen e-tailers engage in high-decibel advertising and social media battles. Traditionally, offline retailers were the ones to come up with bold headlines announcing huge discounts, but this year, e-tailers have grabbed prime print space and social media eyeballs with their loud campaigns. 
Flipkart sparked off the fireworks with its Big Billion Day sale on 6 October even as Snapdeal and Amazon ambushed it with some snide copy and clever print placement. While Flipkart’s actual online sale was riddled with glitches and the revenues it claims to have generated on the big day is now being questioned, there’s no doubt it managed to eclipse traditional retailers. 
The Future Group did gamely try to get noticed amidst this clutter with posters announcing its annual sale. But as far as advertising pitch goes, this round goes to e-tailers even though the sales war is not quite over and the share of consumer wallet may still be in favour of offline stores. 
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 03-11-2014)