Chinese smartphone maker Vivo is expanding its online presence through its new exclusive online store, which will sell its V and Y series in handsets besides accessories, as the smartphone brand bets on growing internet penetration to get more share in India.
Having focused on the offline market for a major part of its presence in India, the company has now become the latest one to have its own online store to sell devices after Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung and Xiaomi at a time when it has reduced margins and commissions for offline retailers.
Kenny Zeng, chief marketing officer, said “Vivo’s strategy of launching an estore is an affirmation of the Indian market maturing in terms of internet penetration, payment and fulfilment infrastructure, thus representing a huge growth potential. Company will soon launch its brand merchandise on the portal shop.vivo.com/in and will also make the online store available through an app that will have augmented reality and live chat options, while covering more than 10,000 pin codes.
Having entered India in 2014, Vivo, along with Oppo, has been very aggressive in terms of offline retail spending to garner market share in India. Paying among the highest retail margins, Vivo has rapidly climbed up the sweepstakes, and was ranked the No. 3 smartphone player by shipments in the July-September quarter, as per Counterpoint Research.
Jaipal Singh, market analyst at IDC India said “Looks like Vivo is serious for the online channel now, as it was mainly present offline. It will be interesting to see how Vivo will engage users on their online store. Now it is very important to have a hybrid presence to engage customers at all the touch points, although direct channel has a very small share and apart from Xiaomi, no one has been able to build it up significantly.”
Vivo, in fact alongside Oppo and Lenovo, are among the only major players which are yet to have their exclusive stores in the online medium, although all brands are available through third-party platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, ShopClues, Paytm and others, which sell mobile phones.