I am the usual Indian type. Patriotic, supportive and forward looking. I buy electronic stuff manufactured by Indian companies – whenever there is value offered and the device is worth my time & money.
So when I lost my cellphone this week, I went out over the internet to explore more on the “Indian” mobile phones. We won the “MicroMax” Asia cup this week and therefore, Micromax was definitely the first one I wanted to try out.
After googling their website – which is not www.micromax.com or www.micromaxmobile.com – I reached them at www.micromaxinfo.com. Duh info.com? I am sure if they can sponsor the Asia cup, they could have bought over the squatter who owns either of the sites above. But then that is probably least of their worries.
Nevertheless, I tried out the options available on the website – which has the sexy Twinkle Khanna on the home page too. Impressed, are we? Well not quite. The “Products” leading to the product catalogue page showed several MicroMax Mobile options. I clicked on Q7 – the best looking phone of the lot (according to me) and eventually landed to – guess what – a mess of details listed on the page leaving the most relevant of information that a buyer would instantly look at.
We had panned Nokia in the past – and almost received death threats for the same in the comments. However we have always appreciated their website which gave the perfect information as needed.
The Q7 and indeed the rest of the Micromax site looks like a summer project in HTML for a high school guy (believe me – I have seen better summer projects). It even has a “Error page” and a “Coming soon” which incidentally are the “Find a store” and “Buy Online” links too. Now let me justify why I said the above –
1. In the individual phone pages, the FIRST information one looks for is the price. There is absolutely no mention of the price of any phone – on any page. Google results do throw up price points (on other sites). And these prices are definitely alluring – a similar Nokia phone comes for almost double – we do fail to see the reason behind the prices not being there. Nokia does it – so there must be a reason not to put it.
2. The second most important information I looked for was photographs of the product. Considering it is a new company, whose product pictures I cannot just Google and find like a Nokia or Samsung phone, I was looking for a larger collection of photographs. Unfortunately there were none – not even of Twinkle Khanna.
3. They use flash all over the site. Like Steve Jobs, I am not a big fan of flash – but I think it has its utility in media streaming etc. The Micromax site is a good example of how NOT to use flash for graphics. Most of the funky animation is totally redundant – with absolutely bad load times and usability. It also takes away the ability of opening new tabs for types of phones to compare them – the site does not have a phone compare (which is an absolute must for a new buyer).
4. Although not directly about the site, my experience was marred by another interesting oversight. When I did not find the price on the site, I looked to the “Contact Us” link for the call center number. Apparently they DO NOT have a call center to get in touch with directly. They mention the Corporate Head Office phone numbers where no one picked up the phone – On Friday afternoon. Their regional offices do not mention any numbers.
5. Talking about marketing, they have one of the most visible and known faces – Akshay Kumar (and Twinkle Khanna who I guess came free with Akshay Kumar). However there is absolutely no visibility of Akshay on the website. They have even taken off Akshay in their ads and put in his better half (except for his cruel laugh). Pure online marketing genius.
6. Lastly, I could go on and on about it. I could even go ahead and say some stuff that doesnt exist on their site. That’s because in an interesting display of the summer project in HTML analogy, both their Legal Notices and Legal disclaimer sections are empty. Almost like the cranium of the person who paid them for the summer project.
For a company that has money to sponsor IIFA and the Asia Cup, they have done a woeful job of showing their work. Although my patriotism is not shaken – I will still go ahead and try their products once I can locate a store where it is sold – it has been stirred to write this post. It pains to see potentially good products lose out on shabby packaging – and this definitely is a good example.
What’s your opinion Pi Readers?
Recommended Read: Micromax Q7 Review