Online sales are certainly flourishing in the Indian smartphone market. Xiaomi led the shift towards online sales in India, and now it’s a strategy that’s adopted by almost every smartphone vendor. In the budget segment, Honor, Asus, and Oppo’s Realme have moved towards an online focus. In the premium segment, OnePlus has achieved great success in India thanks to selling flagship phones at prices lower than the competition. That doesn’t mean, however, that offline sales should be neglected, and OnePlus is aware of that.
OnePlus has announced that it will be opening offline stores in Bangalore, Mumbai, and Kolkata on July 28, 2018. The stores will open in Jayanagar, 4th Block in Bangalore, Central Mall in Mumbai, and South City Mall in Kolkata. The company encourages customers to register for more information and for getting assured gifts on purchase. Registered customers will be eligible for free OnePlus items. The first 100 customers will get free OnePlus branded t-shirts and a free OnePlus 6 x Avengers case.
All students are eligible for winning a OnePlus Back-to-School kit on purchase, and customers who bring a friend will be eligible for free OnePlus 5/OnePlus 5T accessories.
The new stores complement OnePlus’ strategy, which now has an increased focus on additional offline touchpoints in India. OnePlus states that the Indian market is the biggest revenue contributor for it, as it made for over one-third of the company’s revenue in 2018. (This was corroborated by smartphone market share reports, which stated that the OnePlus 5T was one of the best-selling flagship smartphones in India earlier this year.)
In 2018, the company states that it will open over 10 new offline touchpoints in 10 key markets. As stated earlier, it will also be opening an R&D center in India with the commitment of making India its second headquarters. The company’s General Manager stated that OnePlus was looking to increase its focus on offline to reach out to the large majority of the Indian market that prefers touch-and-feel stores for experience before purchase. However, the company will remain a “digital-first” brand.
To recap, OnePlus opened its first OnePlus Experience Store in January 2017 in Bangalore. The company states that since then, offline and online sales have “grown exponentially,” and when compared with the OnePlus 5, OnePlus 6 sales volumes in the OnePlus Experience Store have grown 91 percent.
In the view of OnePlus, increasing offline touchpoints in the form of offline stores, service centers and pop-ups will improve customer experience by giving them the chance to use the phone before buying it. This decision does make sense as consumers find it preferable to try out a device before buying. It should be noted that it is not just OnePlus that has a focus on offline touchpoints in India. Market leaders like Xiaomi, too, are shifting towards offline sales.