Want to buy a phone offline, but do not want to step out of your house? No problem. Vivo India on Sunday launched a smart retail system that lets people do just that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions which starts to lift in green and orange zones.
With this new system, interested buyers need to send their queries to Vivo via SMS, the company' website or its Facebook page and one of the of 30,000 Vivo brand ambassadors (VBAs) will connect with the person to understand their requirements and help him/her buy the phone from one of the 20,000 retailers in India. The SMS-based connectivity is already operational, while the other two platforms will be available to customers before May 12, according to Vivo India.
"Majority of consumers in India still prefer to buy offline. However, considering lockdown and the post lockdown scenario, some consumers may be wary of stepping out. So we have developed a platform which meets the needs of the customers and also helps the retails resume their business as usual," Nipun Marya, Director Brand Strategy, Vivo India, told IANS.
"There is a lead management system that we have set up. Before passing the lead on to the retailer, at our end we will check if this lead is hot lead, qualified lead or this customer is not interested. In case it is a hot lead or a qualified lead which means this customer really wants a phone, then we will tell the retailer the requirement and request them to close the transaction," Marya said.
This system is only for those who do not want to go out to buy a phone due to some concerns. Those who want to go out and buy a phone, they will still be able to do it. But given that manufacturing remained closed in April, how does the company plan to meet the demand?
"Our channels always carry some days of inventory. Both at the retail level and distributor level, there is always some inventory build-up which is there.
"How much inventory and how many days they will last depends on what kind of demands we get and how soon we get that demand and what are the instructions given by the authority with respect to our manufacturing plants and other things," Marya said.
"In a few days time we will get to know what kind of demand we are getting and we will know how long whatever limited inventory we have will last. That we will get to know once the market starts to reopen.
"On the manufacturing side also, we are waiting for more details from the government. Once these details are available we will take further calls," he said.