Should I say I’m back? Or I’m back again? What’s the right word? Does it matter? Hun…
The answer is NO, and a big capital N-O. And I’m going to explain to you why? So, stick with me on this one because your smartphone purchase decision is no longer smart. You don’t realise but today, you’re just a mere piece of the puzzle in this big corporate game of profit and loss. On the one hand we have enthusiastic cute fans of Apple Pie and Oreo and the other hand there is logic, and apparently in this multiverse logic has no place to live.
The smartphone retail culture is so smart these days that If you are one of that customer who bought your favourite smartphone, which you were waiting for a quite a lot time, then you’re touched by God himself. That’s how hard-hitting today’s smartphone purchase is especially in the budget segment market, back in the time of those classic qwerty keyboards, purchasing a smartphone was easy. You just went to a shop and buy it. And then the internet came and after that online shopping. Today, offline shopping is just a sheer phenomenon that nobody cares. Why? Have we lost trust in our local shop? Or scrolling up and down is the new smartness?
The online shopping was introduced as the idea of convenience, you purchase something and it comes at your door the next day. But what have we done to it? I’m sorry, what has corporation done to it? That’s the question.
Marketing strategies have always been part of these so-called corporations, you advertise your product and let the customer know of its benefit, and if they like it they buy it if they don’t they move on with something else. But today’s alternative marketing strategies have shown tremendous potential in influencing your ideal purchasing decision. The so-called H-Y-P-E.
Why I don’t like sale culture?
See, I’m not against their profit and loss statement. What I’m against is how you’re projecting these profits. Example gratia, On March 13th 2019, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro went on sale at 12:00 PM GMT+5:30, at 12:00:30 PM it went out of stock. The device sold out in less than a minute. After a month, IndiaToday reported that the Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro has sold over 1 million smartphones. That’s golden but how? The answer is via sale. So, if my math is wrong then they are selling more than one lacs smartphones per sale and if the devices went out of stock in a minute then they probably sold 1000 to 2000 smartphones/second. That’s got to be some world record or something, isn’t it? FYI, I’m not even counting the offline marketplace here.
I know, there is nothing shady. It’s simple mathematics, but here’s what you don’t know about media. Media only reports something that’s news, and if there is no news there is no hype. You put a device on sale you get one point, the device sold out in a minute; two points. The sale is next week; three points. And the hype continues. Samsung took some inspiration and did the same thing to its M30 a few months ago, look at some of the news reporting and decide for yourself.
|27 May 2019||Money Control|
|20 May 2019||Business Today|
|13 May 2019||NDTV gadget 360|
|6 May 2019||Danik Jagaran|
|30 April 2019||Digit Hindi|
|23 April 2019||TOI|
|16 April 2019||BGR India|
|9 April 2019||TimesNow news|
|2 April 2019||News18 Hindi|
|26 March 2019||GIZBOT|
|19 March 2019||GadgetNow|
|12 March 2019||Firstpost|
Yeah, I know. Things look pretty clear when you set them in data points, isn’t it? The other side of data also suggests that there are more public posts regarding Smartphone sale announcement than the actual smartphone launch. Nearly every online technology publisher post at least 4-5 sale announcements per smartphone that goes on sale. But why? Is this strategy even successful?
If you don’t put the device on sale and just put it on a regular platform, you’ll not get this much of attention. And if you’re a big corporation playing a humongous game of profit and loss then you can control this hype, by hook or by crook. Now, it isn’t the debate if the phone is good or bad, simply speaking you can apply these strategies on anything, any product and get away with it easily. Even if the product is bad, even if there is a competitive smartphone in the market and because you know. You know, that there is a product that is going out of shelves and people are crazy about it. You will opt for it, you’ll think about it, perhaps later, perhaps not now.
Is it a successful strategy?
A recent report published in The Hindu suggests that the M series, which was only available at the online market, sold nearly 2 Million devices since the launch. An article published in TOI states that Samsung’s A series (online & offline market) has sold more than 5 Million smartphones in the past 70 days. Clearly, it indicates that the A series sold more than the hyped M series, that’s indeed a success but how? The A series didn’t get that much hype; it wasn’t even promoted on that huge scale compared to the M series.
A research analyst at Counterpoint Research Anshika Jain said, “The overall growth was slower than expected as some of the major brands were sitting on inventory after a stock build up during the festive period last quarter.” She also said that Realme, which started as an online-only brand, now gets the majority of its sales from offline channels and OnePlus & Xiaomi are trying to capture the offline smartphone market as well by expanding its retail stores. So, if the companies are getting the majority of the sales figure from the offline market, why are they so invested in online sale phenomena?
The same report also suggests that the tech giant Xiaomi and Samsung had a significant fall in their market share in Q1 2019. Xiaomi has a 2% less market share and Samsung has a 3% less market share now. Companies like Vivo grew to 12% market share from 6%. Realme, which wasn’t even in the previous quarter list, now grew to 7% market share. So, I can freely say that online selling strategies are failing and offline market is booming, maybe this is a minor change in the market but who knows.
It’s ruining your purchasing decision.
This has to be a pun right? Marketing strategies can’t influence your purchasing decisions. But what if I’m right? What if all those marketing strategies bloc together does influence our purchasing decision and you don’t know yet.
Microeconomic theory of ‘law of demand’ states that “Conditional on all else being equal, as the price of a good increases (↑), quantity demanded decreases (↓); conversely, as the price of a good decreases (↓), quantity demanded increases (↑)” that basically means, the cheaper the product is the higher its demand will be. Although, this condition does apply on a budget smartphone but sale culture is looking forward to ruining that. Because of the higher demand, the online-only smartphones are sold in the offline black market at a much higher price. Since the demand in consumer base has increased, they somehow convince themselves to purchase the product anyhow. This phenomenon has been widely seen in luxury brands like Supreme, where the resale value of Supreme products has shown a rapid increase, and the reason for this is limited stock.
In behavioural economics, consumer behaviour changes on many factors but it hugely relies on pricing and necessity. A theory of Perfect competition suggests “all firms sell an identical product (the product is a “commodity” or “homogeneous”); all firms are price takers (they cannot influence the market price of their product); market share has no influence on price; buyers have complete or “perfect” information – in the past, present and future.” In simple term, a perfect market where a substitute for each product is available at a somewhat similar price. Now, when a product is not available in the market consumer apt for an alternate option, no matter the demand and brand value. In the tech world, those products are an offline only smartphone.
In a general scenario, where you’re sitting in your comfortable chair and decide to buy a new smartphone, you search for the top 10 budget smartphone and you have made your mind on one phone. As an average netizen, you’re constantly watching reviews, reading articles, tracking the sale and talking “Aaj sale hai.” I bet that didn’t work out for you and if it did, my God! You’re lucky.
But imagine not getting your desired smartphone on sale, you tried once, twice, thrice and now you’re frustrated. Now, you’re purchasing decision has changed, now you want anything that comes in that price segment. Any smartphone will do, just because you need one, just because a smartphone is a necessity for you today. And that is when you’ll click on ‘Add to cart’ on another brand, maybe you’ll go to the offline market and buy whatever the salesperson recommends. Yes! You’ll do that because I have done that. And you’ll keep reminding yourself that the only reason you bought that Samsung A series is because the M series wasn’t available.
Thank you, if you have any suggestion or question please do drop them in the comment section below. That was my time.