To kickstart its business, Xiaomi India has launched a new Mi Commerce platform to help consumers connect to local sellers during the coronavirus lockdown period. It is an offline-to-online (O2O) platform that connects the offline retail stores to the customers who choose to stay home, similar to Vivo Smart retail. The new platform is not meant to compete with existing e-commerce stores and is just a ‘product discovery platform’ to showcase Xiaomi products.

The company is also gearing to fund capital loans to its exclusive retail partners to boost their business. However, Xiaomi has not yet disclosed the details of the loan amount and interest rates. Doing its bit in the pandemic, Xiaomi has also announced service discounts to the crucial frontline and police personnel.

Muralikrishnan B., CEO of Xiaomi India said, “Mi Commerce is a specially designed platform to cater to the needs of our Offline retail partners in the current COVID-19 scenario and it is Xiaomi’s first step towards a longer-term Omnichannel strategy. This special initiative is built to ensure ease of purchase, keep partners and customers safe, and foster business continuity. However, we are especially proud that this is a future-ready experience enabling our users and retail partners in the post-COVID world. We hope the Mi Commerce solution would be a game-changer in enabling Offline retail business to grow and enabling ease & convenience to our customers,” in the press release.

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Close to 15% of Xiaomi’s retail stores have resumed operations across the country after the Indian government loosened the lockdown in orange and green zones. The company is working to resume its other 10,000 retail stores.

How Mi Commerce works

To start the Mi Commerce shopping, the customers can send messages to Xiaomi WhatsApp number +91-8861826286 or login to the Mi Commerce web app. The process will help customers connect with the nearest retail store to explore the inventory. The opted store will call the interested customers to place orders and delivery slots. The company promises to accept payment upon delivery while following hygienic and sanitized guidelines. However, Xiaomi will not provide a logistics solution, the retailer will have to take care of the same with its existing staff.

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Xiaomi has made it clear that retailers will have their own online storefront URL to share through social media platforms or offline billboards and newspaper ads for marketing. The norms of social distancing will be adhered to and the stores will regulate “no walk-in” service.

A couple of days back, Vivo has also launched Vivo Smart Retail with a similar motive of connecting offline retailers and customers. Seeing companies taking new steps to regulate in the market, the world will witness new business strategies post the pandemic.

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