Unlike previous years, when the offices of the e-tailers used to be lit with cultural extravaganza, heated and noisy conference halls, with pizza boxes strewn around in every corner, this year, they are likely to wear a deserted look with just a select few employees working from their work stations.
While Flipkart begins its six-day Big Billion Days (BBD) on October 16, Amazon, for the first time, has announced a month-long Great Indian Festival from October 17.
With an aim to lift the spirit and reduce the work stress as employees work from virtual war rooms, Flipkart has organised 20- minute meditation sessions thrice a week, laughter therapy classes and progressive muscle relaxation activities for them.
In order to ensure that remote working doesn't lead to any discrepancies, the Walmart -owned Flipkart has also defined critical resources as well as their backups to build resilience in case of exigencies.
So in case there's a power cut or a technical issue at one person's home, the executives will know who is the second-best person to reach out to, should the need arise.
Focus still on high-touch customer experience
According to the company, the focus remains on high-touch customer experience, and in order to ensure a smooth execution, it has also been doing chaos testing. This is a process wherein the company deliberately injects faults to test the system resilience and plug holes.
"While we do something similar around this time every year, this time it was more challenging since we are working remotely and did not have the liberty of having all critical team members available in a physical war room during these tests. Adding to the complexity were other factors like power outages, flaky network, VPN connection drop, etc., which added more chaos to the chaos tests," a company spokesperson said.
Flipkart also claims to have improved map tiles by including village layers to map at a time when the next 100 million online shoppers are expected to come from smaller cities.
Also Read: Amazon Great Indian Festival sale: Here are some of the best deals and offers
Amazon conducts daily team calls
Amazon, on the other hand, says it has been organising daily team calls by individual leaders on their respective work streams to regular stand-ups with cross functional teams on the complete event experience.
According to industry executives, though employees have been working from home for almost six months and the agility of the system has been tested, the rush during the festival season can be unexpected. Most of these measures should come in handy around that time.
As per an industry report, over 45-50 million consumers will be coming online to shop, shifting their purchasing power from brick-and-mortar stores.
This can be seen by the increase in sellers on the two largest e-tailers, given the muted recovery of offline businesses. While Flipkart and Amazon have not shared the exact number of new sellers, they have indicated through other metrics that their footprint as the e-tailer of choice is increasing.
According to research and consultancy firm Redseer, the overall gross merchandise value (GMV) of online retailers is expected to touch $7 billion (Rs 51,329 crore) during the month-long festival sale period.