Mi3, the awesome phone launched in India couple of weeks ago. According to Flipkart the selling page of Mi3 on Flipkart website is getting a huge response. Flipkart received more than 100000 registrations for the first stock of this phone and finished the stock in just 40 minute in first sale day. This post is to tell you my view and experience and why i feel that Xiaomi Mi3 online sale on Flipkart is a trap.
I visited Flipkart website after hearing this huge response of buyers and got registered for the next sale which was on 29 July, 2014.
On 28 July 2014 I visited the Mi store page of the website and got some suggestion and big selling schedule of the website. First I will show you the email I got before one day of the start of the sale.
Hello,Greetings!The Mi 3 sale that you have registered for begins at 2 pm on July 29, 2014.How to buy your Mi 3?
Please Note: Each customer can reserve only one phone. Even after you have reserved your phone, you may not be able to complete your order if your pincode is not serviceable. We apologise for the inconvenience.We have limited stocks. First come, first serve. Fingers Crossed!Warm Regards,
- Make sure that you are logged in at least 2-3 hours before the sale begins.
- You will be able to reserve your phone starting 2pm, July 29th. You will not need to pay at this stage.
- Your Mi 3 will be automatically added to your cart by 6 PM.
- Please check your email after 6 PM on July 29 for detailed payment instruction.
- Do ensure that you have completed your order before 11:59 PM on July 30 (Wednesday).
First of all after reading this mail I got confused about “logged in at least 2-3 hours before”.
I am still not able to understand what a foolish suggestion it is. Is there any difference between a user who logged in before 3 hours and who loggin in before 10 minutes? Because if the site receive huge traffic at any point even your session may get expire. So it seems to be very clear there is something behind the seen.
But still I decided to login with my laptop as well as with Flipkart app on my mobile befor 3 hours. I logged in via mobile app as well as on Flipkart website; after all I want to have a phone in my cart. Another thing which was not clear to me is the full selling schedule made by Flipkart. That is first reserve a phone, then phone will be added in cart by 6 P.M., then pay till the next day.
It is very common for a buyer to make multiple accounts to buy. Buyer may use one account for app and another for website login. So there is a possibility that by using this plan he may add 1 phone in each of the account using different account on different device and make payment for any of one. So I believe it’s a 100% fail strategy which cannot be expected from a site like Flipkart.
On the sale day I got a reminder from Flipkart (see the image below)
Now In this reminder the are saying that immediately complete your order after clicking the add button. Now it is clear that the entire story regarding the selling schedule they send me in the yesterday mail, was a shit.
Clock was running on Flipkart website. Only 5 minute was left, I opened one more tab in my browser for Flipkart search, I searched for Mi3 in search bar and you know what I got the message “Out of Stock” message over the cell phone image even before start of the sale. I thought it must be a mistake, still there in one minute for the sale to get started.
Finally I got the “Buy Now” button on my screen. I clicked on the button and got the message “You are not logged in” I refreshed the page and got the message “Opps something is wrong, try again”, I clicked on “try again” and got the golden words:
“Out of stock! Today’s Mi 3 sale is now over. You may register for the next sale (Aug 5) beginning 6 PM today”
All of the above as I told you happen just in 10 seconds only. I immediately (with in 15 second) checked my mobile. But there was no update in the app. So I just left my phone because the app was not aware of what is going on.
This was not only my story, my friends was trying to book the phone at sharp 2PM after getting the “Buy Now” button. But they got the same sequence of messages as I got.
Questions were hitting my mind? How can it be possible?
- Phone is out of stock after 10 second only?
- “Buy Now” button was not able to add mobile into the cart?
- On click event was throwing a message that “Not Logged In”?
- After getting the message “Out of Stock”, I was logged in?
- Do they really have sufficient Mi3 phone for this sale?
- Is there something wrong and not transparent in the sale?
- Was all this program was pre planned?
- Does advising buyer to logon before 3 Hours, not a method of making huge website hits?
- Login before 3 hours was really helpful?
- Is this a marketing strategy of Flipkart and Xiaomi?
I have shared you whatever I faced while booking this phone. But after searching a bit more on their website I come to know something interesting about Flipkart scheme. May be some of you will be aware of it, (Given below)
One possibility that says, Phone was “Out of Stock” before the sale starts:
Have you heard about flipkartfirst scheme? You can become a privileged member of flipkart by paying them 500Rs/year. You will get early access to the launches on flipkart.
As mentioned on their website:
“What are the benefits of “Early Access”?
As a Flipkart First subscriber, you get priority access to some of our exclusive product launches and key shopping events. Priority access to products and shopping events is solely on a first-come, first-serve basis in cases where stocks are limited.”
Is it not a cheap marketing strategy of making money? It is a clear way to differentiate customers at the time of early launch.
Now the question is suppose in case they have 500 phones only and the sale time was 2PM, and they started sale before time for their paid members, then the crowd of customers waiting for sale at 2 PM was only to make website hits and to make data like phone was out of stock in just one minute.
I would like to ask you to please share your experience. Is the marketing strategy they are using is dangerous for trust of customers they have.
Future online launch should announced with other site like Amazon or SnapDeal since they Don’t have such money making plans for memberships and all customers for them are equal.
Waiting for your response in comments.