A vending machine for phones? Sure, says Xiaomi with launch of Mi Express
Smartphone maker Xiaomi has been installing Mi Express Kiosks in tech parks, metro stations, airports, and shopping malls in metro cities for its phones and accessories.Rashi Varshney
Chinese tech major Xiaomi is making it easier than ever to buy a phone. No longer do you need to look for a store and make a purchase. For, there are vending machines - Mi Express - where you can simply make a payment and pick up your phone.
Customers can not only purchase mobile phones, but also phone accessories from the Mi Express vending machines, the company said. The kiosks are designed to accept all forms of payments across credit cards, debit cards, cash and UPI. The kiosk also offers a customer product information at the time of the purchase.
The company claims it is the first tech brand to have introduced the innovative retail model, which also offers the efficiency of ecommerce business, making it cost-effective and scalable. "All the technology equipping Mi Express kiosks has been researched and developed in India, further extending the brand’s commitment to India," Xiaomi said in a statement.
At present, the vending machines have been installed in Bengaluru across various locations. The company aims to set up several more kiosks in coming months, and gradually expand the retail plan across more cities. The Mi Express Kiosks can be found across metro cities in public areas with greater footfall such as tech parks, metro stations, airports, and shopping malls.
The new retail strategy will allow the brand to maintain its top position in the market. A research report by Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service for the period between January and March (Q1 2019) showed that Xiaomi held the largest market share with 31 percent in India in terms of smartphones shipments. Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, pointed out that Xiaomi has laid out big plans for offline expansion by increasing its number of retail stores (Mi Preferred Partners), Mi Homes, and Mi Stores specifically to target smaller towns.