Plum counted, or Sales in Russian
Over the past month, there have been several notable sales in the consumer electronics market - perhaps the most high-profile in recent years. It seemed interesting to me to look back, remember all the details and evaluate the benefits of the organizers of these actions. The article was written for CyberStyle.ru, but I can not help but share with dear Habra :) and would be happy to hear opinions and comments.
I did not find a suitable blog, so let it be here.
The electronics network of M.video opened the season of rush sales. For 16 years of work, the “red men” have managed to create for themselves the image of a store for middle-class people, or rather, even the upper middle one. Prices kept well above the market, but the equipment was “white”, the staff was polite, and there was no need to figure out what you were going to buy — they would tell and pick up everything. A little less than a year ago, the company decided to destroy the image of the “expensive store” and a series of sales began. Perhaps in the first days of August this process reached its climax.
So, at the very beginning of August, without any noticeable media advertising, M.video began selling 16-gigabyte iPhone 3Gs at a price of almost 15 thousand rubles. In other words, the discount relative to the regular price was 9 thousand. The news of this spread around the Russian-language segment of Twitter and numerous Runet forums - people ran to the nearest stores. Phones were available and sold. Near the checkout, as a rule, there was a sign informing of the need to connect to MegaFon when buying an iPhone, but the staff did not particularly insist. In about three days (two of which fell on the weekend), all stocks ran out.
Later, the second phase of the insidious plan began. We went on sale iPhone 3G 8 GB at an even more affordable price - 9990 rubles. Actually, it was this slogan that accompanied the TV advertisement of the action: “We made the iPhone accessible.” This sale was not so smooth, several factors affected. Firstly, a very modest number of devices was delivered to each store daily: somewhere, units, somewhere - dozens. Even in the latter case, demand markedly exceeded supply. Secondly, the staff of the outlets proved to be far from the best way. A noticeable share of the imported batches was instantly bought up by the employees of the stores themselves. “Employees are also buyers” - such an answer was received by the indignant masses. These masses, by the way, have been lining up since the evening. At first civilized. Some stores even kept lists. However, the closer the object of desire was, the stronger the effect of evolution was leveled. Already near the box office fights began - fortunately, small and sluggish.
What did all this action give M. video? From the point of view of marketers of the company - advertising, multiple references, conversations (about this, by the way, we’ll talk a little later). But brand recognition is an advertising task only as a first approximation. Another important parameter is the attitude of consumers to the brand. Rumors about the fights in the queues and the purchase of all goods by store employees quickly spread over the Internet, for the image of the trading network it was a big blow. In fact, M. Video showed an example of not quite civilized trade. The excitement in itself is great, but you need to play by the rules yourself and help others to maintain human dignity.
It is also interesting where all these phones came from, and according to some reports, there are about one and a half tens of them. It turned out that MegaFon “poured” its stocks of iPhone. As you know, sales of the “apple” phone turned out to be noticeably lower than the expectations of the operators, and the whole Big Three came to this summer with full warehouses of goods that became poorly liquid, especially after the release of the iPhone 3GS. The contract with Apple did not provide for a “price protection” scheme, the operators tried to talk about it again, but Cupertino remained adamant. MegaFon killed two birds with one stone. Firstly, with this sale, the company “bought” a place in M.video. It is likely that special operator areas will soon appear in red stores. Secondly, thereby managed to get rid of a suitcase without a handle and now MegaFon is fully ready for iPhone 3GS sales. According to unverified information, Already, several pallets of new phones have been brought to Russia that are awaiting customs clearance and certification. MegaFon has the opportunity to discuss with Apple the cost of deliveries of the new iPhone, without looking at the stocks of the previous model. Most likely, sales of the iPhone 3GS will begin in late September or early October, and the blue-violet operator will not wait for colleagues, which means that the latter will have to agree to conditions of relations with Apple that are not the most favorable for them.
But we were distracted. The next two stocks intertwined. First, on August 21 in LiveJournal, information appeared about the imminent sale of 400 RoverBook laptops at a single price of 9,990 rubles. At the same time, a list of models was provided, among which there were several really interesting names, for example:
RB Nautilus V771VHP iCore 2 Duo T8100; i965PM / 4096 (DDR2) / 320 (SATA) / 17 “WSXGA + (GS) / GF8600MGT-512 / DVDRW-Multi / BT / WiFi / TV + RC / Cam / L1G / Vista Premium x64
In “peacetime” this laptop was sold (and sold) for more than 50 thousand rubles. A few days later, official confirmation appeared that the Euroset and Rover Computers had agreed on a noisy action.
In this place you will have to forget about the Euroset in order to maintain the chronological accuracy of the presentation. While everyone was waiting for Knowledge Day, the Eldorado company prepared its answer. What is characteristic, the answer happened earlier than the “question” - on August 30.
In one single Eldorado store on Ryazansky Prospekt in Moscow, two and a half hundred eMachines laptops were sold. The model claimed to be a gaming one, and although it is very far from the truth, its characteristics are still not bad: a 17-inch screen, an Athlon X2 64 2 GHz processor, 3 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, and Windows Vista Home Premium OS. Outside the stock, the laptop sold twice as much - for 19990 rubles.
Alas, in life the action turned out to be, if not a tragedy (fortunately, there were no victims), then certainly a gloomy page in the history of the company. At the indicated time, more than five hundred potential buyers gathered at the store, with all the fibers of their souls who wanted to become real buyers. Several people suffered in the stampede (the truth of information about their hospitalization was in question, but such data was received). Only the arriving police could save the situation.
A spokeswoman for Eldorado on this occasion spoke as follows: “From the very beginning, we announced that only 250 E-Machine laptops were participating in the action, which were sold for 10 thousand rubles instead of the usual 20 thousand. Our calculations that during the crisis the solvency of the population will not allow selling more than 250 laptops did not materialize. ” However, it is clear that this is a natural reaction if you want to avoid accusations that the organizers of the rally endangered people's lives and health. Say, customers - they are all so unexpected, so sudden all.
But this is not curious. In Eldorado, as in M.video, the issue of staff cleanliness arose an edge. Many of those who lost hope of reaching the coveted check-in counter for payment, wandered into the next room, where they found ... store employees who sold paid checks for 13 thousand rubles.
Frankly speaking, evaluating this action is difficult and unpleasant. She turned into a state of emergency, and their characteristics do not operate on market categories. People returning from the sale first of all wrote on the forums not “I bought it!”, But “Everything is in order, alive and well.” The following message appeared in the company's official corporate microblog:
“You must have heard about yesterday's situation. Next time we will be more organized and put up for sale a larger number of laptops ”
Finally, back to the Euroset. On the morning of September 1, while schoolchildren were building on the “rulers”, adults lined up near the three company salons specified in the conditions of the action. It is noteworthy that police officers were already on duty there, and corridors from the barriers were set up.
The sale itself unexpectedly turned into a lottery. Two or three buyers were allowed in and issued checks to randomly selected (I want to believe) laptop models. Satisfied - at the checkout. No - home or at the end of the line. A significant part of the list of promotional models was, to put it mildly, obsolete, and a few units of interest aroused interest. Customers focused on them, asking for leave from work and putting aside ten green bills for going to the Euroset. Having faced a choice, they were not ready for it and many decided to take what they give. It is sad, but it was precisely for this that the stock was probably calculated, or rather, the form of its holding.
Who got what? The Euroset quite loudly entered the notebook retail market (it transferred the trade of this type of device from side to main ones). Came out without victims, without fights and stampede. To the doors of the shops, everything happened exactly as it should. Inside is sadness. By the way, Knowledge Day nevertheless made itself felt, on the street the action was like passing an exam: at the entrance there was a queue with trembling knees, at the exit there were lucky people running to tell their unshooted brothers to answer the question “How is it ?!”.
Well, the Rover Computers company just got rid of several hundred old devices, the only alternative fate of which would be to parse for parts and send them to service centers.
The most civilized and in the form of holding, and in the number of pitfalls is the action of Euroset. It is gratifying to see that at the same time the advertising return on the event turned out to be no worse than that of the competitors:
Failures in schedules to zero are caused by a spill of a cup of coffee on the Yandex Blogosphere Pulse server and are an artifact. Paying attention is the difference between the height of the peaks attributable to the days of the shares from the average levels. Their attitude is the effectiveness of the action.
It turns out that you can be heard and without fights near the doors of shops. The time is not easy now, people are tense due to the crisis, and therefore are more susceptible to freebies. The fact that they want to buy expensive equipment at a great discount lose their human face, of course, is sad, but understandable. Instincts, you know. But to exploit them for the amusement of the public is an unworthy undertaking. I want to believe that sales will continue, but they will be held in a civilized manner.
© Ilya Rubtsov, 2009, written for CyberStyle.ru with thoughts about Habr :)
Above the habrakat photo by Vladimir Fokin