Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has opened its Mi Home store in Bengaluru, the first in India. Xiaomi Mi Home Store is an exclusive offline retail store, where the company will showcase its products including the Mi and Redmi series of smartphones. The store will also have Mi Air purifiers and other electronic accessories. According to Xiaomi, it is planning to open 100 similar Mi Home Stores in the country, in the next two years. At an event in Bengaluru, Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi Managing Director, informed that the next series of Mi Homes will open in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai. In the upcoming stores, Xiaomi will include ‘Experience Zone’, but as of now, in the Bengaluru store, you can only find products which are sold in India.
By Experience Zone, the company means that it will also show the customers, products which are not sold in India. However, which exact products will be displayed in those stores, are still to be known. Xiaomi has built an ecosystem of products in China which are not sold here. The products include TVs, Water Purifiers, even Electric bicycles as well. Xiaomi feels that it can understand the response of Indian consumers by showcasing those products through its stores.
Jain told IE.com, “When we started five years back in China, we disrupted the mobile internet business. We started selling online. A lot of people asked us why online? We wanted to sell directly to consumers with Mi.com. We wanted to bypass inefficiencies in offline retail like multiple layers, huge manpower cost, information asymmetry, etc.” Jain had pointed out that in China, after Alibaba and JD.com, Mi.com is the third biggest e-commerce company.
The company has claimed that in India, its website has received 100 million visits in April 2017, with more than one million daily active users. It has also claimed that more than 5lakh people visit Mi.com during the special Mi Fan Festival sale in India. Yet, Xiaomi’s plans are towards shifting focus to its offline sales, and that too using a different method than that used by other companies.
Jai told IE.com, “In traditional offline, consumers often end up paying 2X for the price of a phone, thanks to the complicated distribution network. In our model, we are looking at going directly to the retailer, and reducing the number of partners between us and the consumer.”