Pre-launching Products Online – Is the Buzz worth It?

CoFounder-Shop-Pirate-Kulpreet KaurThe Indian e-commerce space is often touted as immature. But while saying this we tend to ignore the fact that this immaturity is indeed a boon. Being in the nascent stage, the e-market gives e-tailers – big daddies as well as start-ups- a chance to experiment with their selling tactics and marketing strategies.This in turn enables them to render an improved user-experience. Whether it’s about giving special discounts or bringing big names on board for promotion, online business owners are not shying away from experimenting. One such recent experiment which has created a lot of buzz in the e-commerce arena is ‘product pre-launch’ at online stores.

In the past few months, we have witnessed several brands launching their products online before releasing them offline. Motorola’s exclusive partnership with Flipkart to launch Moto G in India is said to be a pioneering move in this context. In February 2014, Motorola joined hands with India’s largest online retailer Flipkart and planned an online launch of its latest handset. And this campaign reaped just the right benefits for both the parties. Motorola achieved a successful comeback in the Indian marketplace with all handsets sold out on the very first day. On the other hand, Flipkart witnessed an exponential growth in its analytics as well as sales. According to the company’s CEO Sachin Bansal, on the day of Moto G launch their traffic got doubled and 67% of this traffic was driven by Moto G. Further, the Moto G page got a total of 1 million views, while the overall mobiles sales for the day were 5 times more than the usual mobile sales.

Gadgets aren’t the only segment where pre-launches are in vogue. Renowned author Amish Tripathi utilized the same strategy for the launch of his book, The Oath of Vayuputras. He joined hands with Flipkart to pre-release the book and it received an overwhelming response from the consumers. The site had about 50,000 pre-orders and all these orders were dispatched on day one itself.

Looking at how established market players are building hype using the pre-order option, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this can indeed become a powerful marketing tool. But exactly what is it that inspires brands to pre-launch their products before putting them on sale in brick and mortar stores? Well, a lot of factors.

Brands get a chance to showcase their collection to the buyers in advance, which aids them in receiving feedback and gauging initial reactions. They can offer special deals and build customer loyalty early in the product’s lifecycle, leading to increased profits. Moreover, contextual assessment of their products within the marketplace enables them to read consumer expectations early on, thus providing them with enough chances to survive in the sea of e-commerce. Besides, the analytics collected during the pre-launch help brands to create products that are in-sync with customer needs, another leg up for start-ups.

It is not just the product merchants that enjoy the perks of pre-launch. Consumers are benefitted equally. It is a win-win situation for both. An early online launch gives buyers a chance to get in touch with behind-the-scene creators and understand the product analogy, ascribing a sense of personal participation which is successful purchase motivator. Moreover, they avoid the rush hour, pre-book their favourite product and get access to an exclusive range, which is unavailable offline. And the brand-sponsored contests and limited period offers that come with such launches can be counted as additional perks. 

Authored by:- Ms Kulpreet Kaur, Co-Founder of Shop Pirate

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