Xiaomi has announced a new ecommerce platform called Mi Commerce to let local stores sell the company’s products — including phones, Mi TVs, and power banks — online. The idea is to connect these stores directly to consumers through a web app or WhatsApp to sell products.

You can connect with local stores in your area through this web app or chat with them on WhatsApp (+91 8861826286 ) to explore Xiaomi products they have in stock. Once you place an order, the shop will deliver the item and collect money from you. The last-mile delivery logistics will have to be handled by the shop.

In a statement, Xiaomi India’s COO, Muralikrishnan B said Mi Commerce will cater to the needs of the company’s offline partners during the COVID-19 pandemic:

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.

In a call with journalists, the company said it has enough inventory for three to four months. Plus, some of its manufacturing units have obtained permission to resume operations soon.

Xiaomi Mi Commerce website

India declared its first lockdown in March, which was extended till May 3. Now, the country has relaxed its norms to open shops in certain areas where the coronavirus spread is not severe.

In this scenario, many people might prefer not to visit stores in person to buy non-essential items such as smartphones. Xiaomi is hoping to sell get a headstart over its rivals Vivo, Oppo, and Samsung with this initiative.

According to the research firm Counterpoint, no phones were sold in India in April. Its report, related to the Indian smartphone market in Q1 2020 suggests Xiaomi had a comfortable lead over its rivals, with a 30% market share, followed by Vivo and Samsung.

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Published May 5, 2020 — 15:55 UTC

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