From the get go, Xiaomi was always an e-commerce and internet company first. Its cult-like popularity in its homeland of China and countries like India, however, has been defined by its smartphones (and in many ways, powerbanks). After a meteoric rise, the Chinese startup has seemingly hit a plateau with its online-only strategy. But it looks like Xiaomi is shifting.
It’s undeniable that brand has been a disruptive force in the smartphone segment. Coming out of nowhere, it became the #1 smartphone maker in China (2014-2015), and subsequently the #5 largest in the world.
In just four years, Xiaomi transformed from a local hero to a global business, opening new markets in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and 20 other markets. India, its biggest market outside of China, generated USD1 billion in sales revenue (Data: 2016).
Its success is attributed to its unique business model of selling direct to consumers, via e-commerce. Mi.com, its online store, accounts for 70% of its total smartphone sales. At its peak, it was China’s third largest e-commerce player.
Its epic flash sales during its phenomenal Mi Fan Festival celebrations generate billions in sales revenue.
But wait, to call it a smartphone player would be highly inaccurate. It remains true to its DNA – being an “internet company.” Xiaomi sells a plethora of smart, connected devices including smart TVs, fitness trackers, routers, air purifiers, smart rice cookers, action cameras, powerbanks, headphones, smart weighing scales, desk lamps and even luggage trolleys!
The big physical shift
The past year, however, hasn’t been too rosy. While its global expansion has taken flight, sales at home hasn’t been great. For the first time, Xiaomi dropped out of the Top 5 smartphone brands in China. It also saw the exit of Hugo Barra, its highly popular global VP, in February.
The fact is, e-commerce has hit a saturation point in China, and dwindling sales are testament of that reality.
Therefore, Xiaomi has shifted its strategy. In 2015, Xiaomi introduced Mi Home, a brand of full-service repair and experience stores in China. It plans to roll out hundreds more across the country in the coming months.
In Malaysia, since 2013, Xiaomi has mostly sold its products via its Mi.com online store. In 2014, it opened its first ever Mi Exclusive Service Centre (ESC) at Low Yat Plaza. The ESC was a flagship service centre, complementing its network of authorized service centres across Malaysia.
It recently shut down online sales on Mi.com, preferring to work with e-commerce partners like Lazada to sell its product portfolio.
The good news is, it’s changing its strategy in Malaysia, too. While it isn’t introducing its flagship Mi Home stores here, it’s working with resellers to build physical stores.
The first ever Mi Premium Reseller Store will be officially opening at Queensbay Mall, Penang on 29 April.
Mi fans in Penang are going to be chuffed at this piece of news. They’ll get to have hands-on experience with Mi products including smartphones and other Mi ecosystem products.
They aren’t just for show of course, here’s a list of products for sale:
- (NEW) Mi Smart Scale (White): MYR119
- (NEW) Mi Router 3 (White): MYR149
- (NEW) Mi VR Play: MYR49
- 5,000mAh Mi Power Bank (Silver): MYR59
- 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro (Grey): MYR149
- 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank 2 (Silver): MYR85
- 20,000mAh Mi Power Bank (White): MYR149
- Mi Band 2: MYR129
- Mi Box: MYR349Mi Bluetooth Speaker (Blue): MYR179
- Mi Bluetooth Speaker (Gold): MYR179
- Mi Bluetooth Speaker (Pink): MYR179
- Mi In-Ear Headphone Pro Gold: MYR89
- Mi In-Ear Headphone Pro Silver: MYR89
- Mi In-Ear Headphone Pro 2 Silver: MYR139
- Mi In-Ear Headphone Basic (Black): MYR35
- Mi In-Ear Headphone Basic (Silver): MYR35
- Mi In-Ear Headphone Basic (Pink): MYR35
- Mi In-Ear Headphone Basic (Purple): MYR35
- Mi In-Ear Headphone Basic (Blue): MYR35
- Mi Capsule Earphones (Black): MYR69
- Mi Capsule Earphones (White): MYR69
- Mi LED Light Enhanced (White): MYR19
- Mi LED Light Enhanced (Blue): MYR19
- Mi USB Fan (White): MYR15
- Mi USB Fan (Blue): MYR15
- Mi Car Charger (Black): MYR39
- (NEW) 90 Point Luggage 20″ (Grey): MYR289
- (NEW) 90 Point Luggage 24″ (Grey): MYR339
- (NEW) 90 Point Metal Luggage: MYR1,849
- (NEW) Mi City Backpack (Dark Grey): MYR159
The Mi Premium Reseller Store is 2F-110 (East Wing) 2nd Floor, Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang.
What do you think of Xiaomi’s physical stores? Anyone up in Penang this 29th?
Source: Mi Malaysia