October 13, 2014 by ...
China’s Xiaomi has perfected the art of hungermarketing and ‘flash sales’. The company produces a limited supply of goods and then sells them online. Only those who claw their way to the cash register on time walk away with the booty. Think of it like a virtual Kmart Blue Light Special.
What happens is that a flash sale is like tossing the pretending customers into the ring like something from an MMA brawl where it is every man for himself. In this Battle Royale, buyers are only told that Xiaomi will be selling a good, but not how many. In the virtual slugfest that ensues, only a few end up with the cherished Xiaomi kit.
In the past week this sales strategy lead to 100k Xiaomi power bricks being bought in a manner of hours. Subsequent to this was confusion about the future availability of those units.
Flipkart, the site offering the product, posted a message at noon saying that the power brick was discontinued. The Xiaomi clients went into a frenzy, ‘What? No more Xiomi MI Powerbanks?’ They cried and threatened to thrust themselves from the loftiest posts of Bangalore if none were to be had.
Xiaomi gallantly issued a decree from the finest Chinese papyrus blessed by no less than Lei Jun himself that ‘No the message was wrong. The super califragislistic Power Bank was not discontinued but merely sold out.’
As a collective sigh of relief made its way across India, over 15% of the world’s people slept soundly that night.
Now for a less prosaic version.
Xiaomi is known for flash sales which by limiting production creates insane demand. This means that not everyone can buy one of their units leading to a sense of desperation when that purchase need goes unmet.
Flipkart had a massive Big Billion Day Sale! whereby they wanted to sell stuff, a lot of stuff. Xiaomi kit was some of that stuff and it flew from the virtual shelves like money from CCP members ‘special’ bank accounts of late.
In the confusion, Fiipkart inadvertently said that the MI 10400 was discontinued, which was a cause for concern. Apparently all those users were less worried about the Mi 10400’s ability to incinerate and go airborne than to make a purchase decision. Xiaomi moved in to allay their fears that the unit was merely sold out but soon enough the ‘Cruise Mi(ssile)’ would once again be up for sale.
For a more lucid report, continue reading here….
Due to their distribution model of only selling online, customers have no recourse but to wait for Xiaomi to into cyberspace and get some kit.
While a lot of people were unable to buy the Xiaomi Mi Powerbank in Flipkart’s October 6 sale, that happened after around 1 lakh people had already purchased it that day. The Powerbank was put up on sale at a price of Rs.899, which is Rs.100 less than its normal price. By noon, the device was listed as “permanently discontinued”.
“That was probably an error. The product wasn’t discontinued. It went out of stock,” said Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s vice president for international markets. “Flipkart sold 1 lakh units of the Mi Powerbank during Big Billion Day sale on October 6.”