Should Xiaomi Come Back to the Philippines?
Love them or hate them, Xiaomi brought something unique to the table when they first setup shop in the Philippines, namely the promise of high-spec devices with very attractive prices. Unfortunately, that promise came with a price – an internet only sales model that wasn’t cut out for prime time. Unfortunately, a purely online only sales model isn’t something that Philippine consumers are ready for.
One only had to look at how Xiaomi presented the results of their first few flash sales in the Philippines. Normally, they post how fast their phones sold out, along with the quantity, on the respective Mi Facebook page of whatever country the flash sale is in. They’ve done that in the Philippines once or twice, but they’ve never disclosed the quantity, which tells me that it wasn’t a whole lot to begin with. Compare that with the phenomenal sell out of their other products during the same time frame in other countries and you already know something’s amiss with their sales strategy in the Philippines.
With falling sales and delayed release cycles, the company had no choice but to silently exit the Philippine market. To be fair, the company did try the offline sales route, but it was too little too late. Combine that with the growing resentment of fans that felt they were being sold old stock even as our neighbors got to buy brand-new devices, then you can see why Xiaomi did what they did. But despite their official absence, their products have never been more popular. Stores like Widget City enjoy brisk sales of Xiaomi’s products, and to be honest there’s still a need for competitive, bang-for-the-buck phones like the Mi 5s in the country.
From Online to Offline Retail, Latest Phones Available Please
So, we’re asking Xiaomi: come back to the Philippines. But come back with a more solid retail plan that doesn’t completely rely on online sales. Believe it or not, Filipinos are willing to pay a little more to buy phones in physical locations, as long as the added cost is reasonable.
One other thing – if you guys consider coming back here for a second try, make sure that the release date for your latest phones for the Philippines is on par with other countries. We can all use Google, and we know when you’re trying to pass on old stock to us.
Should Xiaomi return? Let us know in the comments below.