For me, the Philips Hue Wall Switch Module is the most exciting new Hue product in recent years. After all, it solves a problem that has existed since the start of Philips Hue almost ten years ago. However, Philips Hue has not yet got to grips with another problem: Availability in its own online shop.
It has already been shown in the past that Philips Hue does not really act in a hurry when it comes to its own online shop. For example, it took several days for the Philips Hue dimmer switch of the new generation or the Philips Hue Amarant in January until they could be ordered in the Hue Shop. With all previous products, however, the slowness of Philips Hue was not a problem, because you could always order from other retailers and received prompt delivery.
The new Philips Hue wall switch module will be sold exclusively in the in-house shop until the beginning of May and will not be offered by other retailers. And here in Germany, we were actually able to order for two hours on Tuesday. Around 5 to 6 p.m., the new accessory was briefly available. Those who didn’t make it there will have got used to the following view:
A quick look at our neighbouring countries shows that the situation in Germany is not an unique case. Here is a small overview of Europe and the availability of the Hue Wall Switch Module:
- Austria – sold out
- Belgium – available
- Czech Republic – not yet started
- Denmark – single pack available
- Finland – single pack available
- France – sold out
- Germany – sold out
- Great Britain – sold out
- Italy – not yet started
- Netherlands – single pack available
- Norway – single pack available
- Spain – not yet started
- Sweden – single pack available
- Switzerland – sold out
There is no official statement on the subject so far, so we can only speculate what is going wrong in the background.
What we can rule out: It can’t be due to containers stuck somewhere on the way from Asia to Europe. After all, the Hue wall switch module is manufactured in Germany. On the other hand, it is quite possible that individual components are not available in sufficient quantities.
With a small start-up, something like this could have happened
On the other hand, the Hue wall switch module is not a product that was quickly developed and manufactured. The first prototypes already existed more than a year ago, and the hardware development was basically completed in the summer of last year. Since last year, there has been some restructuring around the project, but even that was months ago.
Has the manufacturer perhaps simply misjudged the demand? No one would have been angry if the first batch had sold out after a few days. In my opinion, it should not happen to a company like Signify that a product can no longer be ordered after a few hours – we are not talking about a small start-up with limited resources, but a globally active company that is listed on the stock market.
It becomes highly embarrassing due to the fact that for two days there has been no information at all for the interested customer who would like to order the module. Why, for example, are pre-orders not possible with an indication of the expected week of delivery?
Comments 1 reply
I completely agree with your comments. No pre-orders, no indication of expected availability, no option to be notified when back in stock, no useful information from @tweethue or any other official channel. One would hope that someone in Hue has some useful supply chain information even if that is “next batch is one month out”. It’s not unreasonable to expect that someone in Hue has a grasp on this, so it is deeply frustrating that a message is not being communicated to their loyal customer base. I’d be fine with pre-ordering and waiting instead of visiting the product page every day.
If Hue wants to exclusively distribute some of their products they should at least ensure they have a reasonably customer friendly online sales capability, after all we now pretty much expect the convenience of Amazon. But it seems that even their social media handlers don’t have any insight to stock or supply chain, which seems really lacking for an exclusively online storefront.