Xiaomi has officially forayed into India’s footwear market with its first product, the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2. There’s a small catch though. You can’t readily buy Xiaomi’s Mi shoes from Mi.com or Mi Home stores yet. Xiaomi, in fact, isn’t even sure if its Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 will ever be available for buying from these channels. This is because Xiaomi has launched them under its crowdfunding platform in the same way it has launched other lifestyle products like the Mi sunglasses in India.
Crowdfunding is a little different from traditional sales. It is meant largely to gauge buyer interest. The future of the product therefore lies in the hands of the buyers. If enough buyers show interest, Xiaomi will go ahead and make the product available on a broader scale. If not, well, it is likely never going to talk about it again. Which means there’s a 50-50 chance to whether the product will ever be sold beyond the pre-defined crowdfunding period.
A source familiar with Xiaomi’s plans in India tells me, the golden figure in the case of the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 is 5,000+. This means if more than 5,000 potential buyers head over to Xiaomi’s Mi crowdfunding store (which is part of Mi.com/in) and show support over the next 10 days, Xiaomi will officially bring the product to India. Xiaomi’s Mi shoes have already crossed the 50 per cent mark at the time of filing of this report, so it is very likely that the company will achieve its target. The source noted that buyers who pre-order (which is equivalent to showing support) the shoes will need to pay their full asking price, which is Rs 2,499, in addition to choosing their preferred size and colour. If Xiaomi's Mi shoes don't achieve the set target, the company will refund the amount. And if they do achieve the target, Xiaomi will start shipping from March 15.
Xiaomi’s Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 are rebranded Mijia Sneakers 2. Mijia, to recall, is a subsidiary of Xiaomi that specializes in making ecosystem products like the Sneakers 2. Xiaomi’s Mijia Sneakers aren’t smart as say its smartphones, but they are seemingly smart in their own subtle way. Made using a 5-in-1 uni-moulding process and high-elastic knitting, Xiaomi’s Mijia Sneakers, have what it claims to be a ‘breathable sole’ and a lightweight fish bone locking design. Xiaomi says they are resistant to deformation under pressure and can also be thrown into the washing machine for cleaning.
“2019 began on a very exciting note with us having introduced two new categories already. We are delighted to introduce another new offering in our range of lifestyle products - Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 which will go live on our crowdfunding platform. We are positive that our new Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 will add immense value to our Mi Fans’ lives, offering the best design and performance at an honest price,” Raghu Reddy who is head, category and online sales, Xiaomi India said while announcing the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 for the Indian market.