Taking feedback from customers, Xiaomi and Flipkart have decided to junk the ‘tatkal ticket’ method of selling its flagship Mi3 phone, and opted to add the device to the shopping carts of nearly 25,000 Flipkart customers who have tried to buy it at least five times on the website.
Flipkart and Xiaomi had come in for heavy crticism from users for running out of stock in a couple of seconds, making it impossible for most customers to buy a phone using the website.
As a Diwali gift, the two said they will “reward” loyal Mi3 fans by adding the phones directly to their carts, without holding a sale.
“On October 6th, approx. 25000 Mi fans who have tried to buy Mi 3 at least five times or more will find the device added to their cart on Flipkart.com. These fans will now get a chance of buying the Mi 3 without having to register or hit the “buy” button,” the company said.
Xiaomi has sold around 300,000 Mi phones since over the last two months, the two said. Out of that, more than 2 lakhs are estimated to be the lower priced Redmi 1S model.
“The lucky fans eligible for this festive surprise will be intimated directly on October 5th that they will have the Mi 3 made available directly in their cart on October 6, 2014 and will have about 1 to 2 hours to checkout. If there are dropouts or a fan declines to purchase the device a second batch will have the device in their cart the same day,” it said.
The phone has considerable level of interest as the price is extremely low compared to similar offerings from other vendors. Big MNC brands such as Samsung and LG charge between Rs 26,000-38,000 for phones that have the same specifications as the Xiaomi Mi3.
Even local brands such as Micromax and Karbonn charge more than what Xiaomi does for similar speced phones.
Xiaomi said it is able to keep costs low by cutting out the middlemen, such as distributors.
“Xiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun, who believed that high-quality technology doesn’t need to cost a fortune. At Xiaomi, we’ve brought together smart people from Microsoft, Google, Kingsoft, Motorola, Yahoo and other IT companies from around the world to bring that vision to life.
“We create remarkable hardware, software, and Internet services for and with the help of our Mi fans. We incorporate their feedback into our product range, which includes the Mi 3, Redmi, Mi TV, Mi Box and other accessories. We sell direct to customers to keep our prices competitive.”
On the ‘festive offer’, Manu Jain, GM and Head of India Operations at Xiaomi said: “We would like to pay tribute to our most passionate fans through this little gift of recognizing their passion for our products. Even though they have repeatedly tried to get the device and failed, their determination to get Mi 3 clearly sets them apart as fans that any brand would be lucky to have. We do recognize this and have taken this initiative to provide them direct access to purchase the Mi 3.”
If all this makes you think that you are getting the phone for free, think again. The phone will be only ‘added’ to your cart. It is your duty to log in to your Flipkart account and pay the price of the phone to confirm the transaction.