Chinese smartphone maker plans to reduce the window between the launch of its devices in the online and offline retail channels. The company plans to ramp up supplies to brick-and-mortar stores and increase their contribution of offline stores to overall sales.
Xiaomi is currently the leader in India’s smartphone market, per IDC and it is estimated to control 29.7 percent of the market. IDC estimates Xiaomi to have shipped around 10 million smartphones during the second quarter of 2018 alone. In terms of sales, offline currently contributes 30 percent of sales and it has only grown from 5 percent a year back. Xiaomi has been expanding its offline presence and is currently available in over 40 cities and towns in the country.
Anuj Sharma, Xiaomi India’s new chief marketing officer told Economic Times that the company is ramping up local production to ensure that products are not in short supply at its offline retail stores. The Chinese smartphone maker currently manufactures smartphones in six plants in the country. Xiaomi started its India story more than four years ago as an online-exclusive smartphone maker but in the past few quarters, the company has evolved its business model to be platform agnostic and has adopted multi-channel strategy.
For Xiaomi, this multi-band retail strategy is working in its favor. According to Counterpoint Research, Xiaomi registered its highest ever shipments during the second quarter and share in the offline channel increased during the quarter. “The growth can be attributed to its strong product and supply chain strategy that has allowed it to launch products with a longer shelf-life than its competitors and that too in the important sub-Rs 10,000 segment,” Counterpoint said in its report.
There is also lack of clarity as to who really is the market leader in India. Counterpoint says Samsung regained market leadership from Xiaomi during second quarter while IDC claims that Xiaomi has a healthy margin as market leader in the country. Xiaomi is also facing pressure from brands like Samsung, Oppo and Vivo in the offline retail space.
Watch: Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro First Look Video
Xiaomi recently launched three new smartphones – the Redmi 6A, Redmi 6 and Redmi 6 Pro – in India. These new smartphones are available at a starting price of Rs 5,999 and will be available from online retailers Flipkart, Amazon India and its own Mi.com. At the event, Xiaomi said that these devices will be available from offline retailers and Mi Store as well but did not offer any timeline.