Acknowledging that it was not adequately prepared for the sheer scale of the event, Flipkart promised to come better prepared next time.
"Everything that we have achieved at Flipkart is purely on the basis of our customer's trust and faith...We failed to live up to this promise yesterday and would like to apologise once again to every single customer for our failure," Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal said in a joint e-mail to customers.
The e-commerce firm said 1.5 million people shopped at its portal yesterday to take benefit of the one-day sale scheme. The company claimed it sold products worth over Rs 600 crore in just 10 hours under the scheme.
"While we stand humbled by the sheer faith that such a large number of customers have shown in us, we are unhappy that we were unable to live up to the expectations of millions more who wanted to buy from us yesterday. And this is not acceptable to us," the founders said.
"And though we saw unprecedented interest in our products and traffic like never before, we also realised that we were not adequately prepared for the sheer scale of the event. We didn't source enough products and deals in advance to cater to your requirements," the founders said.
They added that the load on server led to intermittent outages that impacted shopping experience on the website. Flipkart had deployed nearly 5,000 servers and had prepared for 20 times the traffic growth - but the volume of traffic at different times of the day was much higher than this, the mail said.
"We are continuing to significantly scale up all our back end systems so that we do a much, much better job next time," the e-mail said. Customers have complained about getting products at different prices than it was displayed. Flipkart also acknowledged the price change complaints after the pricing of several products got changed to a higher non-discounted rates for a few hours.
"We realise that this breaks the trust our customers have put in us. We are truly sorry for this and will ensure that this never happens again," the e-mail said. Flipkart's founders said that many of the products went out of stock within seconds the sale started.
"We had ensured availability, anywhere from hundreds to a few lakh units for various products, but it was nowhere near the actual demand. We promise to plan much better for future promotions and ensure that we minimise the out-of-stock issues," the e-mail said.
The Bansals said they are working to ensure availability of additional units for the products that went out of stock and promised to do "level best to ensure that we minimise any cancellations".