Xiaomi Wants You To Buy Phones From A Vending Machine
Chinese conglomerate Xiaomi is an unconventional company when it comes to their business strategies. It was the first company in India to exclusively sell smartphones online which allowed to offer feature rich smartphones at lower prices in comparison to its competitors. Furthermore, in order to expand its offline growth the company opened thousands of small stores in areas like villages across the country. Another unorthodox initiative taken by the company is the newly installed electronics vending machine which the company is referring to as a Mi Express Kiosk.
Xioami India’s senior executive, Manu Kumar Jain on his Twitter account shared images of the aforementioned vending machine. Called the Mi Express Kiosk, it sells smartphones and smartphone accessories. The machine has been installed in Manyata Tech Park which is located in Bengaluru and the company reports to bring more of these to different locations soon.
In terms of design, the Mi Express Kiosk resembles a traditional vending machine with a see-through glass pane that displays the offered products. To buy a certain product, the user can select options with the help of a large touch screen display which is placed on the top right side of the unit. The mode of payment that the Mi Express Kiosk supports include Cash, Debit or Credit Card or even UPI transfer. The idea of a machine selling electronics does seem innovative but the fact cannot be denied that vending machines never really took off in the country. Primarily due to the following reason:
- Users perceive purchasing products from machines a complicated process.
- Security is another factor that has limited the adaptation of vending machines. With cases arising from ATM’s being looted, vending machine with expensive electronics would be looted if security is not in sight.
However, Xiaomi has designed a simple UI that is easy to use. Also, the machines are likely to be installed in generally safer locations like malls and airports. To conclude, only time will tell whether these machines take over the country with storm or fail miserably.
What are your thoughts on the Mi Express Kiosk? Will you buy a smartphone from a vending machine?
Do let us know in the comments below!