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Xiaomi announces Mi Commerce: What is it, how do you use it and other things you need to know

Place orders online and get the products from your nearest Xiaomi retail stores

Mi Commerce will connect buyers to the nearest Xiaomi store around them and they can place orders online for products.
Mi Commerce will connect buyers to the nearest Xiaomi store around them and they can place orders online for products. (REUTERS)

At a virtual press meet today, Xiaomi announced Mi Commerce, an offline-to-online solution to sell smartphones, alongside a few other announcements regarding the first Redmi Note 9 Pro sale and the launch date for the much-awaited Xiaomi Mi 10.

Mi Commerce will connect buyers to the nearest Xiaomi store around them and they can place orders online for products. Retailers will have their own web URLs they can promote on social media. Store owners will get direct orders on their system through the Mi Commerce and they can connect with consumers for extended warranties and more.

This is Xiaomi's way of looking at offline-to-online solutions to sell products through the lockdown. However, Xiaomi is not the only smartphone company doing this. Vivo has announced its "smart retail" system that allows potential customers to place orders through SMSs or through the online store and get products delivered home by offline retailers.

"Mi Commerce is a product discovery platform. It is wrong to compare it with any other e-commerce platform," Muralikrishnan B, COO, Xiaomi India said, adding - "We have been planning an omni-channel solution for quite a while. You can consider Mi Commerce as a first step towards that."

For Mi Commerce, the last mile "contactless" delivery will be handled by the retailers and they will accept payment via UPI-based solutions. Delivery rules put n place by states based on green, orange and red zones will apply in this case as well. Xiaomi India head Manu Jain said this solution will help the company's 10,000 retail partners resume business quickly.

"Due to COVID-19 restrictions, smartphone sales in Q2 will take a hit. But the India smartphone market will bounce back by Q3 and Q4," he predicts. Because the one thing that has been vital for most people through the lockdown has been smartphones. "We may not have all the manpower right now. But we should be up and running 100% by Q3," Jain added.

(With agency inputs)