The story began a year ago when Bamilo started its Black Friday campaign. They ran the campaign this year again and the result… well you should check the social media to see angry people but also see the buzz that they made and the torrent of new visitors on the website.

Last year Bamilo started the Black Friday campaign for the very first time in Iran. The campaign made a lot of noise and Bamilo claimed on last year’s Black Friday that they had 15 times as much as visitors in comparison to a normal day. Some specific type of items were also sold with the speed of 20 items per second. They also claimed that they had 4 million visitors on Friday and 80% of the traffic was generated by the new visitors. These statistics showed that Bamilo attracted many users even for the first time on the campaign day but they didn’t talk about the feedback from the angry users. E-commerce is not just about attracting as many visitors as you can get, but also to keep those users coming and persuade them to use your services again and again. But with the torrent of new users and disappointment of some of the users on social media, how we can determine if the campaign was successful?

What happened on this year’s Black Friday?

On this year’s Black Friday campaign, Bamilo took it to the next level. Many billboards, tons of display ads, cool clips on social media, using influencers on social media and so on. Even the clips that they made for the campaign forced me to praise them for bringing new cool advertising materials in the market for the first time, I enjoyed watching all of them. They even partnered up with ParsOnline (an internet provider) to promote online buying in Mashhad, Shiraz and Tehran. All these efforts are showing that Bamilo is making awareness about the culture of online buying and expanding the market. According to Ramtin Monazahian the chairman of bamilo, the company offered 500 different types of products (nearly 35K products) with big discounts and products such as PlayStation. According to Bamilo, 80K products (number of products) were on sale on the website. The total number of 600 merchants also took part in the Black Friday campaign on the platform.

Other interesting statistics which we could find about the campaign on the news were:

  • 1M visitors on the first day of the campaign.
  • The number of the orders were 30 times than the normal day.
  • Bamilo had orders from 435 different cities.
  • 35% of the orders belonged to clothing.
  • Books and sports goods saw a 200% and 100% increase respectively.
  • One of the electronic suppliers sold 100K euros.
According to Ramtin Monazahian, the targets of this campaign were:
  • Encouraging the internet users to try online buying.
  • Providing a new opportunity for Iranians all over the country to buy more easily online.

All of these efforts are admirable and good for the market as whole, but what did people say on social media?

Angry people on social media

Downtime

On the first hours of the Black Friday campaign, Bamilo went offline a few times and that made us think why Bamilo didn’t think of something to prevent

Bamilo downtime
Bamilo downtime
Bamilo downtime
Bamilo downtime

this to happen again like last year. People expect more from Bamilo as the second biggest e-commerce in Iran. Although we should say that the hosting services in Iran are not taking responsibility on this matter and the downtime in their eyes is not a big deal. They don’t even pay a major fine to the companies for causing this kind of damage to the businesses. The hosting service is a critical element for the startups and e-commerce in any part of the world.

Fake prices

One of the main objections about Bamilo’s Black Friday campaign was the fake prices. Many people on social media were objecting that Bamilo increases the prices of some of the products to be able to make a big discount rate to attract visitors. Some people were posting the screen shots of the previous prices from the days before or from other websites to show that some of the discounts were fake.
Fake Prices
Fake Prices
Fake prices
Fake prices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Users' complaints
Bamilo’s tweet in comparison to other tweets
Users' complaints
Angry users’ tweets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can even check the number of likes from Bamilo’s tweet in comparison to other tweets in the picture above. The pictures above are from Twitter, we thought that maybe we have some specific type of users from twitter so we decided to check the comments on the most popular tech news websites (Zoomit and Digiato) in Persian to see what people say and guess what? same reaction as twitter. You can check the screenshots below:

Users' complaints
Users’ complaints and the comments on the most popular tech news websites
Users' complaints
Users’ complaints and the comments on the most popular tech news websites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the targets of Bamilo for this campaign, we can’t still figure out how they could achieve their targets by these feedbacks from some of the visitors and users. Maybe this experience would be the last experience of the user. And the fact that their PR department stayed silent toward these feedbacks makes us even more surprised. You can’t just make things go away by not acknowledging and facing the problem. The one-way communication channel of Bamilo might put them on the blacklist of angry users.

 

Last words

The concept and timing of Balck Friday have no relations to Iran’s culture. Black Friday for people who live outside of Iran means something, it’s before Christmas, the holidays are ahead, shops want to empty their stocks, people want to buy things. Christmas is the national holiday season for many countries but not for Iran. Holiday season for Iran is Nowruz which is the start of spring and it has been celebrated for centuries in Iran. Maybe startups and e-commerce companies in Iran should pay attention to the national occasions of Iranian culture to implement a domestic and cheaper campaign similar to Black Friday. Because from what we have seen, Bamilo burnt a lot of money just for explaining to people what Black Friday is, nevertheless doing advertisements on the campaign. Another shortcoming that Bamilo had is that they didn’t have an applicable partner to do this campaign with. The only partners were Parsian Bank, ParsOnline (ISP) and Jiring (mobile wallet of MCI). We should note that Jiring is still in its infancy and it’s not a mature mobile wallet. Maybe by involving other startups in the e-commerce sector they could have made a synergy to spend less and gain more from these types of campaigns. This part again needs a communication channel to other potential partners which Bamilo lacks.

We said everything that was there to say about this campaign. Tell us your opinions on how Bamilo could have implemented this campaign better?

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