Gadgets Magazine

Oh! My Flash Sale : Is The Demand Really Too High Or Its Just Another Gimmick ?

Posted on the 24 February 2018 by Gadgetscanner @jdsoni7

Smartphones and Electronics are one of the hottest selling products in India, especially on e-commerce stores like Flipkart and Amazon. With so much competition, brands come up with innovative marketing campaigns to outdo the competition. These marketing campaigns are at times utterly negative (Ahem!) or follow a bizarre flash sale process that doesn’t even let the customer buy the product. While I would not highlight much about the brands doing negative campaigning, let’s talk more about the questionable sale process followed by a lot of brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, and a few others.

What is a Flash Sale?

Like almost everyone in India is expert in cricket, almost everyone knows what is a flash sale? It is nothing but a brand putting in a limited number of devices for sale as per the roster. The ugly part here is that almost every flash sale is successful with 100% products sold in a matter of seconds or nanoseconds for a few. Shockingly it happens every time.

I remember getting an email from a brand that claimed to be successfully sold out in flash sale on Amazon in a matter of few seconds. Everything was rosy apart from the fact that I had almost never heard about the brand itself, forget about the device. When asked about the numbers of units sold, I got a nasty response from their media agency. Refer to the image below.

You can very well assess the real picture here.

Flash Sale the Xiaomi way!

Xiaomi was the first brand to introduce Flash sales in India and they’ve been fairly successful in creating a hype or fake unavailability. The Redmi Note 4 became the highest seller thanks to these flash sales (of course in the latter part, it was available offline too). Xiaomi’s low budget Redmi 5A is still being sold through Flash sales and is “sold out” each time, despite being more than a couple of months old, while the company claims that Redmi 5A had sold more than 1 million units in less than a month.

I’m still approached by a lot of people who want to buy the Redmi 5A, but the phone is only available at a premium at retail stores rather than these flash sales. Not sure who is getting benefitted by such flash sales.

Seeing that many numbers of units being sold are raising a lot of questions. But Xiaomi India’s Head Manu Jain often tweets about the units sold out completely in flash sale. Here for an example the tweet shared by him on the recently concluded Redmi Note 5 flash sale.

#RedmiNote5 & #RedmiNote5Pro: we sold 3L+ units in <3 mins. This means 1L+ phones/min! 😎

After the amazing success of Redmi Note 4, we had put in a lot of effort to increase supply of Redmi Note 5. This was the biggest ever sale in India!

Gear up for the next sale on 28th Feb!

— Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) February 22, 2018

This looks perfectly fine till the time we analyze a few things here :

  • Xiaomi has been operating for more than 3 years now in India. Are they still not able to assess the demand?
  • Even the stocks are very limited at the Mi Home stores which exclusively sell Mi products. Users have gone on to say that they have visited a Mi home multiple times but the products were always out of stock and hence led to a negative experience.
  • Does this fake demand/hype creation not supports black marketing of phones. But that is another story, needs a dedicated piece on it

Let us have a look at another tweet shared by company’s official account

Hey, Mi fans! A million thanks and more for incredible anticipation for India's all-rounder and India's camera beast. Sale starts at 12 noon on & @Flipkart. Are you all set? #GiveMe5

— Redmi India (@RedmiIndia) February 22, 2018

I’m sure they had a fair idea of the demand and that was proved by the number of people interested to buy Redmi Note 5 or Redmi Note 5 Pro still Xiaomi chose to sell only 300,000 units. Isn’t it a bit too hard on their Fans or users?  For a number one brand (as per IDC for Q4 2017) it is surprising that they can not assess the demand or is the company itself not sure if they will be able to sell all the units hence offering a lesser number of units in each sale?

Mi TV 4 Flash Sale

Moving on from the smartphones, Xiaomi also launched its Smart TV, MI TV4, in India and like the smartphones even the Mi TV was sold through a flash sale, a first in India may be. Interestingly the smart tv with a starting price of Rs. 39,990 was also sold out in a matter of seconds. He proudly tweeted as well “Gone in 10 seconds”.

Gone in 10 seconds!#MiTV4 – the world's thinnest and most beautiful TV sold out in <10 secs!

Thank you, Mi Fans for your amazing response. Don't worry if you missed it. Next sale is on the 27th 😊

— Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) February 22, 2018

Great job there (Clap clap clap)! But then again it raises a lot of questions about the way things work in these flash sales. The team at TheMobileIndian investigated this “sold out in less than 10 seconds claim” by Xiaomi and here is what they had to say:

Interesting isn’t it. No wonder a lot of people are questioning this marketing strategy from Xiaomi. The company now has enough infrastructure, exposure and market understanding that they can easily meet the demands by selling an ample number of units, be it their power banks, mobile phones or the LED TVs. There was a time when OnePlus used to follow this restrictive strategy and would only let people with an invite to buy the phone. However, after a couple of iterations they gave up this stupid invite system and now the OnePlus 5/OnePlus 5T is one of the highest selling devices on Amazon.

Signing off

While the marketing think tank of Xiaomi credits their disruptive marketing strategy behind their success, a lot of people still prefer a brand that is easy to do business with. This conventional approach always helps in a stable brand reputation and a much better customer experience prime examples being market leaders Apple, Samsung and Nokia (during good old days).

I think its time for brands like Xiaomi and Honor to do away with this flash sale approach and try to serve a larger consumer base who are willing to buy their products yet are not able to thanks to these “Flash Sales”.

On a side note, as a consumer, I would be happy to see the number of units available on the e-commerce website so that I can plan on my purchase. Also, this gives an extra layer of transparency and adds up to the brand’s image.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Practicing Empathy

    Embed from Getty ImagesBrené Brown is a researcher who has specialized in studying shame for most of her career. Her recent book, I Thought It Was Just Me (but... Read more

    8 hours, 25 minutes ago by   Candacemoody
  • Chilli Update

    Chilli Update

    You might recall that about a month ago I sowed seeds of 20 different varieties of chilli. They germinated at different rates, keeping me guessing (and... Read more

    9 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Mwillis
  • Sophie & Scotts Wedding at Athelhampton House

    Sophie Scotts Wedding Athelhampton House

    Athelhampton House Wedding Athelhampton House weddings are regular features scattered throughout our diary. A familiar venue that keeps giving fresh imagery as ... Read more

    9 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Linusm
  • "I Am Worth More Than My Self Doubt"

    Worth More Than Self Doubt"

    Top of the Monday morning to you! We're finally back in Atlanta today after getting in early yesterday, grabbing the kids and then running home, unpacking, had ... Read more

    9 hours, 34 minutes ago by   Cait
  • Signs of the Times

    Signs Times

    America’s phallic affair with guns should give us pause to wonder what the true motivation is. My wife sent me an NPR story on the World Peace and Unification... Read more

    12 hours, 10 minutes ago by   Steveawiggins
  • Heart Valve Replacement: How to Prepare

    Heart Valve Replacement: Prepare

    Overview Before you undergoe the heart replacement surgery to replace a heart valve, you will need to prepare for your hospital stay. Read more

    12 hours, 42 minutes ago by   Allyson3james
  • Blood and Tourism in Kashmir

    The previous summer, amid an overnight transport trip from New Delhi to Srinagar—the mid-year capital of the Indian-controlled condition of Jammu and Kashmir—I... Read more

    12 hours, 49 minutes ago by   Amar Rana