Wow. That was crazy.
If you are a big kid or have kids, you’d have struggled to miss the pre-order launch of the Xbox series X and Playstation 5 last week.
It was a huge mess.
E-commerce platforms all over the world struggled to cope with the sudden increase in demand.
Even Amazon was down.
Chaos can massively increase sales
Would these consoles haves sold out so fast if they had been readily available? Or if websites hadn’t crashed?
Maybe. But nowhere near as fast.
After 24hrs Sony is predicted to have sold, on pre-order, 11 million PS5s and Microsoft, 9 million Xbox series X.
In 2010 a large UK based airline launched their first ‘routes release’ sale, the first chance you could buy flights next years summer holiday.
- They launched at 8 am
- By 8:15 am their whole site went down.
- After working really hard to fix all the problems of 2010 they tried again in 2011.
- They launched again at 8 am,
- By 8:05 am their whole site was down.
The crash in 2011 was and still is their best sales day, ever.
The platform failing over caused people to keep trying and trying to get those flights. By chance, the site failing over made the flights more desirable.
People instantly had a fear of missing out, fuelled by news reports of the amazing sale that people were struggling to take advantage of.
They didn’t just keep trying for 5-10 mins and give up. They were there all day, hoping to get these flights before anyone else could.
If it works, does it have to be random?
No-one wants to go into the empty bar. Counter intuitively people want to wait in the long line in the freezing cold for a chance to get into the hottest spot in town.
You could engineer situations similar to the UK airline or Microsoft and Sony.
With some careful marketing, some detailed analysis and an engaged technical team you could do something really interesting.
You aren’t limiting the supply of these goods, you are making it harder to buy.
It’s the same stock. All that happened is you shorted the sales cycle and probably created a tonne of publicity. Controversial I know.
But. If you aren’t thinking about this already, your competitor probably is…
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