Android Headliner: The Flash Sale System Is Extremely Popular In Asia, Can It Succeed In The West?

There are over 7 billion people populating this beautiful planet we live on, those people are scattered over 7 different continents (well, 6, not counting Antartica) and a ton of different countries which are located on those continents. This basically means there are a ton of different people alive today, different personalities, different cultures, etc. When you leave your country and travel somewhere, it can feel like you're in a completely different world. Well, I know this is kind of a weird introduction in this article, but you'll find out what I'm talking about really soon.

These differences between nations are actually connected with mobile technology in a way. People in Asia like different phones than the ones in Europe for example, thus have different phones at their disposal, Some of them are the same, of course, but there are so many weird phones available in Asia you wouldn't believe, we actually report on some of them from time to time. We can also differentiate business models of certain companies in different markets, the approach is not nearly the same in developing markets and already developed markets. Different markets demand different marketing approaches by the company, and also differently priced devices most of the time.

Xiaomi, for example, has enjoyed great success in 2014, mainly thanks to their marketing approach, very well built and affordable smartphones. This China-based smartphone vendor is an online-only company, what does this mean? Well, they sell their devices via their web shop only, or they partner up with a retailer and sell them that way (like for example in India, where Xiaomi partnered up with Flipkart). The point here is that Xiaomi doesn't have physical stores, outlets for you to go to, try out their handsets and then buy them. This is just one of the ways Xiaomi managed to keep the cost of their products so low, and by doing that it makes them really appealing to customers.

This Chinese smartphone OEM, like many others in Asia, like Micromax and Meizu for example, take advantage of so-called "Flash Sales". Each of these smartphone OEMs employ them in a certain way, but the point is, they sell their devices differently than we do. Certain manufacturers in China let people register for a sale / make a reservation, and are then allowed to buy the smartphone when it goes on sale, which is usually about a week later. This marketing and general approach to selling devices is very popular in China, companies normally don't have enough devices to sell and many people are left out high and dry after these sales, especially if the devices on sale are brand new and extremely appealing. That's why these OEMs organize several such sales and offer devices for sale in batches.

This business model works perfectly in Asia and India for example, but I really can't see it work well in a more developed markets, like the ones in the U.S. and in Europe. OnePlus (Oppo-owned company by the way) is actually a really good example of this, even though they didn't have the regular "Flash Sale" approach in mind. As all of you probably already know, in order to purchase the OnePlus One handset, you need to have an invitation. This kind of relates to the Asian model, and we all know what were the reactions to OnePlus' invitation system in Europe and the U.S., let's just say people aren't that fond of it. I do believe that the regular Asian approach wouldn't work here either.

Why is that? Well, I can only state my opinion here, of course, and I do believe that people have a different mentality here. Many people I've talked to about this (I'm from Europe by the way), both tech-savvy and those not so much, wouldn't be willing to participate in something like the "Flash Sale". There are those of them who would, of course, but most of them consider that if they're willing to splash out some cash, they should be able to buy the product they want to buy. Mentality is just one of the reasons why I do believe that system wouldn't work here, people are also still used to buying their devices in physical nearby shops here, not to mention that the competition and various retailer would have something to say in all this.

I could write about this all day, but that's not the point, of course. Some of these (Chinese) companies are selling their devices in the west for a long time now, and have adapted to different markets. It will be interesting to see if other companies will manage to do the same, or will they opt to stick with their current business model. Xiaomi is one of the companies that will probably expand to the west in 2015, though I doubt they'll hit Europe or the U.S., Latin America is a far more probable destination, and their business model might even work over there. That being said, make sure you share your opinion on this topic, let us know what you think about "Flash Sales" and if you think they'd be a success in other, more developed markets.

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About the Author
Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at Kristijan. [email protected]
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