Gionee has recently tie-up with some of the biggest modern retailers of electronics goods: Spice, The Mobile Store, Mobiliti World, Jumbo Electronics, Croma Retail & Planet M, as they are expanding their offline footprint in a massive way. This partnership will increase their presence across 1000+ offline stores all over India, and help them to venture into Tier 1 cities.
While announcing this partnership, Arvind Vohra, CEO and MD of Gionee India said, “We are glad to partner with the biggest names of the retail industry to officially sell our devices. Our consumers can now walk into any of these retail outlets and experience a Gionee smartphone.”
This move can help them increase their sales by 10%, and 35,000+ devices every month.
While their products are available on eCommerce marketplaces, they are openly supporting offline retail, compared to online stores, and in the past, have even refrained their potential buyers from eCommerce purchases.
Last year, Arvind said, “One, these e-commerce sites are discounting prices below what other retail stores would sell at. After that, if the customer faces any issues post purchase, they turn them away saying its a brand issue. This is hurting our brand.”
Right from their debut in India, Gionee had focused on offline retail, as they opened their own exclusive brand stores across India, and liaisoned with small store-in shops and independent retail store owners. As of now, Gionee India has 22 exclusive brand stores, 800 service centers and have presence across 2,300 shop-in shops, and 5,500 retail stores.
In the next 12 months, they plan to increase their brand stores by 250, and increase service centers to 1000.
This is for the first time that they have partnered with modern retail store owners, having pan-India presence with chain of stores.
Will Their Offline Bet Pay Off?
Although it may come as a shocker for fans of those brands which sell off their inventory in ’20 seconds flash sales’ and introduce ‘online only’ sales channel; but there are reasons to believe that their offline only strategy is working, and the bet will definitely pay off (atleast in the shorter run)
Last year, Gionee grew at an astounding rate of 550%, and in most of the Tier2 and Tier 3 cities, they are only behind Samsung in terms of volume. Only 2 year old in India, Gionee has already captured 4% of the market, and in some offline retail stores like Mobility, they are accounting for 6-7% of the overall sales.
As per Arvind Vohra, a human interface is required when it comes to purchase of a personal product like mobile phone. And considering that majority of Gionee’s targeted customers are not that Internet savvy to checkout reviews and specifications; this makes sense to some extent.
As per Moin Mushtaque, Managing Director of Mobiliti World , it was found that price constitutes only 8% of the factors which result in a mobile purchase; rest 92% of the factors are related with product details, and awareness about its feature and advantages.
And offline retail store is the best place for that.
Every product has it’s own specific marketing strategy, and it seems that Gionee has found their own; for time being, they are betting heavily on offline retail, and the bet is paying off really well.