Xiaomi has announced that it wants to direct 50% of its sales to offline channels, i.e. physical stores or physical stores. While this has been talked about for some time now, it looks like Xiaomi is finally ready to take the big step in a few months. This is a big move by the company in a market where e-commerce sales are everything. Businesses go the online route to save on marketing costs and other charges that come with displaying their products in a store.
But it seems that Xiaomi is well aware of the fact that online sales alone will not be enough in a market like India. Many citizens are still not tech-savvy and don’t trust online retailers, and with good reason. So having a physical point of sale for these users makes perfect sense. While this could add to Xiaomi’s marketing costs, it could be a smart move a few years from now.
Lucky change for Xiaomi?
Given that Xiaomi is not having the best moment in the market, a move like this could have been made out of desperation. Regardless of their current status in the market, there is no doubt that Xiaomi devices are sure to reach many more customers this way. Opening up retail presence in rural areas of the country will certainly help with reach and exposure as well.
And the rivals?
This could be a particularly tricky time for Xiaomi’s industry rivals such as Huawei, Oppo, Gionee, Vivo and the rest. Not to mention Indian OEMs like Micromax, Lava, Intex etc. However, most Indian manufacturers have some retail presence in the country, so it looks like Xiaomi is just trying to stay ahead of its Chinese contemporaries. Almost all Chinese OEMs sell their products exclusively through e-commerce channels in the country, thus giving Xiaomi an edge. However, it may not take long for them to recover.
Naturally, Xiaomi’s timing here will be very crucial. Therefore, we can only hope that the company does not take too long to realize this idea. The company doesn’t have many products to showcase, but the few devices it sells are incredibly popular in the country.