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Vivo Bets On S Series To Strengthen Position In Offline Retail Market

Chinese handset maker Vivo is betting on its new offline retail-focussed ‘S’ series to further strengthen its position in the hyper-competitive Indian smartphone market where it competes against the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi. The company, which will position the ‘S’ series of devices in the Rs 15,000-25,000 price range, has also roped in Bollywood actor Sara Ali Khan to endorse the new offering.

“The S series is for users looking for devices that are stylish, and these will also have very good specifications in terms of the selfie (front) camera. Our ‘V’ series was all about innovation and was focussed on the online buyers. The S series, on the other hand, would have an offline retail focus,” Vivo India Director (Brand Strategy) Nipun Marya told PTI. vivo’s V series devices are priced between Rs 20,000-30,000, while its ‘Y’ series comes in the range of Rs 9,000-15,000.

As per research firm IDC, Vivo had 13 percent market share in the January-March quarter this year, occupying the third spot behind Xiaomi (30.6 percent) and Samsung (22.3 percent). The quarter saw a shipment of about 32.1 million units, registering a 7.1 percent year-on-year growth.

Marya said Vivo had entered the Indian market via the offline distribution route and these channels continue to be the larger contributor to its business in the country. “Offline has always been an important part of our strategy. We have expanded our presence to over 70,000 retail points and continue to invest in expanding that network,” Marya said.

Offline retail continues to occupy the dominant share of the Indian mobile market, with an estimated 70 per cent of sales being conducted through brick-and-mortar stores. Companies like Xiaomi and Motorola, which had entered the Indian market by selling their devices online, are now aggressively expanding their presence in offline retail.

He added that the S series will be available in a subset of its offline stores, given its slightly premium pricing. The first device will hit the market around August. Citing GfK data, Marya said the Rs 15,000-25,000 segment sees sales of about 8.5 lakh units monthly, while the Rs 20,000-25,000 range clocks around 4 lakh units.

Talking about the association with Sara Ali Khan, he said the actor brings a perfect amalgamation of style, fun and vigour that resonates well with the stylish specifications of its new S series. “When we were first designing the S1, the first device from the all-new S series, we were clear that we wanted to make a device that was both a style benchmark and packed in powerful features. And Sara, who is a youth icon, was the perfect reflection of these aspects,” he said, adding that Khan will feature in the company’s new TV commercial in early August.

vivo had roped in Bollywood star Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador in March last year.―Devdiscourse

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