Xiaomi has launched the Mi Express Kiosk – a vending machine which dispenses smartphones and mobile accessories in India. The concept is similar to a typical vending machine that dispenses say food items, soda, etc, though of course in Xiaomi’s case, they will dispense smartphones and accessories from the company.
The Mi Express Kiosk is designed to accept all forms of payments across credit cards, debit cards, cash and UPI, making it convenient and hassle-free for customers to purchase their smartphones. The first Mi Kiosk has been installed at Manyata Tech Park, Bengaluru and Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain tweeted out a picture showcasing the announcement. Xiaomi’s founder Lei Jun was also present when this Mi Express Kiosk was revealed.
The Mi Express Kiosk comes as Xiaomi tries to expand its footprint in the offline market, and seeks to strengthen and maintain its position as the number one smartphone vendor in the Indian smartphone market.
By launching these vending machines, Xiaomi views it as a new innovative retail strategy in reaching out to its customers directly, “eliminating operational and cost inefficiencies for the consumers.”
Xiaomi has its exclusive Mi Home Stores in cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, while it also has Mi Stores in rural parts of India. It also has Mi Preferred Partner stores in metros, tier I and tier II cities. Xiaomi had earlier revealed that it wants to have 5000 Mi Stores in rural India by the end of 2019. The company wants to expand it offline market share to 50 per cent, though currently it is at 30 per cent.
With these vending machines, Xiaomi said it will provide smartphones to their customers at a price similar to that of Mi Homes and Mi website. The smartphone maker aims to set up several more kiosks in the coming months, and gradually expand the retail plan across more cities, though it has not specified which cities will get these first.
These Mi Express Kiosks will be found across metro cities in public areas with greater footfall such as tech parks, metro stations, airports, and shopping malls. The technology equipping Mi Express Kiosks has been researched and developed in India, claimed the company.
The company said that Mi Express Kiosks will soon be installed throughout the metro cities and customers will be able to access information on the locations of these kiosks on Xiaomi’s website.