Internet shopping has become a supplement to the Blackberry’s retail outlets in the promotion of the BlackBerry Passport smartphone (“BlackBerry Limited Company Information,” n. d.). BlackBerry Limited aims at providing the best Internet selling services to its customers. The company aimed at maximizing the available potential of Internet trading after the release of the BlackBerry Passport. Many BlackBerry smartphones, as well as accessories, were available for purchase after the introduction of the online BlackBerry store. Furthermore, if a customer preferred a local retailer, they were advised to consult their carrier of choice in order to get the necessary information about the location of local retail outlets and their available stock to avoid inconveniences. BlackBerry Limited began to sell BlackBerry Passport online immediately after they had released it. In fact, ShopBlackBerry.com sold out their BlackBerry Passports in six hours, while Amazon.com managed to sell out those smartphones in ten hours before client started leaving their orders online, which skyrocketed up to 200,000 orders within a day (Hamblen, 2015).
The company’s online shop is an effective distribution channel for selling the BlackBerry Passport. The system accepts payments via Visa, Discover, American Express, and MasterCard among others (“Profile: BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO),” 2015). Thus, a potential customer can place a successful order if he or she uses the services of one of the leading credit card companies mentioned above. A client can safely enter his or her credit card number via the BlackBerry’s secure server, which encodes all confidential customer information. The company also accepts PayPal Credit and wire transfer. Once the customer makes an order, it is shipped.
Some customers, however, need a physical demonstration of the smartphone before deciding whether they would like to purchase it. Such clients prefer Blackberry Limited’s retail outlets where they can see the new BlackBerry Passport. These customers’ demands can only be met in the real, and not virtual, environment. This is the reason why BlackBerry Limited chose to have indirect distribution retail outlets and distributors. This is only one way in which the company can provide its customers with accurate details and experience concerning the BlackBerry Passport. Due to a fast growth of the smartphone market, BlackBerry Limited needs to demonstrate its capability to consumers (Lau, 2015). The company realizes that many customers want to first to see the product in retail stores before they buy it. Therefore, to attract more customers and to convince them to purchase the BlackBerry Passport, the company has established retail stores.
Even though trends like online buying become more popular and widespread, the retail sector still plays a significant role in the United States. To cater to the current customer needs, BlackBerry has opened more BlackBerry Premium Supplies in the US. The company continues to establish more stores in different cities with the aim of building a strong retail business in the United States. The introduction of new stores is part of the strategy aimed at ensuring that BlackBerry Limited has a strong foothold and that it is competitive in the United States market. In addition, BlackBerry Limited collaborated with AT&T Ink to promote and sell the BlackBerry Passport (Lewis, 2015). AT&T Ink officially started to sell the smartphone in its retail stores on 20 February, 2015. It was the first carrier to sell such a device in the United States market. The collaboration provided BlackBerry Limited with the much-needed mobility. In addition, the collaboration between BlackBerry and AT&T Ink made it easier for clients to gain access to the BlackBerry Passport, which they previously could obtained only from Amazon and BlackBerry online stores.
Market Exposure Level
One of the reasons why BlackBerry Limited designed the BlackBerry Passport was to enable it to retain its original strength in the market. Although the company has a high level of brand recognition, it decided to use the selective level of market exposure for the BlackBerry Passport’s distribution (Lau, 2015). BlackBerry Limited decided to accomplish that by employing a limited number of retail outlets to distribute the BlackBerry Passport. On the day of the smartphone’s release, the company used mainly its online store and Amazon.com to distribute the product. Later on, it decided to collaborate with other parties, such as AT&A Ink, in order to sell the BlackBerry Passport more effectively in different parts of the United States.
The advantage of the selective level of market exposure chosen for the promotion of the BlackBerry Passport allowed the company to focus on the advantages and positive features of the product. The strategy proved to be successful, since the BlackBerry Passport was well-received by the customers right after its release (Lau, 2015). It worked best mainly for the loyal customers who opted for the physical purchase of the smartphone in outlets. In addition, the company’s strategy and choice of market exposure helped in concentrating the selling efforts of the company on the well-performing parts of the United States, and online shops helped to further boost its sales.
During transportation, the BlackBerry Passport needs more care. Initially, the smartphones are packed in specially designed boxes. The boxes contain pre-shaped foam pieces, which are placed in the custom-made boxes in the process of packing for transit. The custom inserts keep the packed BlackBerry Passports from shifting during shipping and transportation. Smartphones are sensitive to climate extremes. Thus, BlackBerry Limited maintains its products in the climate-controlled conditions to keep them safe. For example, excessive heat can spoil electronics in two ways. During hot weather, metal parts expand and undergo undue stress, which may harm soldered parts. Moreover, warm air contains moisture, which may damage smartphones since high humidity is always harmful to electronics. Thus, the BlackBerry Passport is stored in the environment with moderate humidity and temperature in order to avoid extreme heat or cold that can damage it.
BlackBerry Limited packs BlackBerry Passports in line with the international safety standards for the shipping of cargo. They are packed in a box as tight as possible with the inserts of foam, bubble wrap, or Kraft paper. In addition, the box is tightly wadded. Other types of packaging, especially loose fill, are not allowed as they create static electricity, hence they will not keep BlackBerry Passports from sliding around. The box is then sealed with packing tape. After that, the inner box is covered with bubble wrap and then sealed inside an additional container, which has more than two inches of padding on all sides.
BlackBerry’s release of the BlackBerry Passport was quite a surprising move in the smartphone market. The company proved that it was not afraid of implementing new ideas and designing new devices. Although the BlackBerry Passport release has helped BlackBerry Limited to remain strong in the market, the company still faced certain challenge. One of the challenges was transportation. Immediately after the release of the device, the customers could buy the BlackBerry Passport only on BlackBerry.com and Amazon.com (“Who Will Sell You a BlackBerry Passport?”, 2014). The company made a surprising move by deciding to collaborate with AT&T Ink. However, the public raised many questions regarding whether BlackBerry Limited will meet its customers’ demands for the already stricken deal and effectively transport all the ordered smartphones. People wondered whether customers would be forced to use the services of wireless carriers in an attempt to buy a device.
BlackBerry Limited adopted the following transportation methods. The company’s plan was to maximize the retail outlets sales, especially due to the cooperation with AT&T Ink (“Who Will Sell You a BlackBerry Passport????”, 2014). Thus, the company transported BlackBerry Passports to retail outlets where end users could purchase them. However, the smartphones sales failed, and the company began to focus on selling software more (“BlackBerry Sales Dive”, 2015). In addition, the company ships its smartphones directly to customers. The company gives a customer a tracking number when he or she makes an order. The order processing takes one week. Furthermore, the company sends an email to a customer immediately after the ordered product has been shipped. No charge apply until a customer confirms the shipped order. The shipping within the United States attracts no customs fees. However, the disadvantage of this system is that a customer cannot change the shipping order or address details after placing an order because once a client makes a request they send it immediately to the fulfillment agency, and the system cannot retrieve it (Store.shopblackberry.com, 2015) . Although the transportation methods BlackBerry Limited employs are mostly effective, the company should use and exhaust other opportunities as well.
The BlackBerry Limited’s management should take precautionary steps to ensure a successful future development and avoid negative consequences as well as certain urgent steps in order to solve the pressing company’s issues. Although the release of the BlackBerry Passport ensured the company’s standing in the market, there are still many areas and possibilities to explore. The most favorable strategic move would be to shift from traditional profit making to market leadership. The firm should regain its position and dominance in the market by introducing an innovative product or idea. BlackBerry Limited ought to improve its performance if they are planning to compete with such smartphone market players like Apple and Samsung. In addition, the firm should research the contemporary market trends and people’s needs. If it can enhance its operation, cater to the constantly evolving customer demands, and maximize its opportunities and strengths, BlackBerry Limited will be successful in the market.