With social distancing becoming the new way of life, an increasing number of consumers are shopping online and even those that had preferred to make electronics purchases offline are now left with no option. According to Counterpoint Research’s latest report, the shift in the consumer behaviour resulted in online channels accounting for 43% share of the Indian smartphone market in the quarter ending June 2020.
The report also found out that Amazon surpassed Flipkart with a share of 47% in all online sales, while Flipkart had a 42% share. The INR 15K – INR 20K price segment contributed the most and reached its highest ever share on Amazon. Flipkart ruled the roost when it comes to the sub-INR 10K price category cornering over half of the market in the quarter.
The report forecasts online channels will remain strong in 2020 in light of the retail slowdown by many companies. Plus much of the offline market has been dominated by Chinese brands, which have suffered an image beating in recent months. Online sales are expected to have a 45% share in the Indian smartphone market in 2020 going ahead, much higher than previous years. “Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the overall smartphone market with April being a washout month. Online channel shipments also declined compared to the last year. However, due to the current circumstances, consumers are preferring online platforms,” said Prachir Singh, senior research analyst, Counterpoint.
The report added that pre-Covid level shipments of smartphones were being witnessed by the end of the second quarter 2020 due to the pent-up demand after the lockdown.
The pandemic had a huge impact on the current market scenario and innovative business models have emerged, the report said.
“Bands are aligning their product as well as channel strategies to drive up volumes, and multiple financing options and attractive offers have made the devices more affordable for consumers. During the quarter, multiple brands adopted an online-to-offline (O2O) business model and hyperlocal delivery to help their offline channel partners,” added Counterpoint’s Singh.
For instance, Samsung was quite aggressive on online channels and increased its share to 25%, its highest ever share in online channels. Strong shipments of M-series smartphones led to this increase.OnePlus also drove the shipments in the online premium smartphone segment, capturing more than 50% share, followed by Apple with a 25% share, the report said. Realme remained the top brand on Flipkart.
It also found that Xiaomi remained the market leader in online channels with 44 per cent market share and due to the preference for online channels, no offline-exclusive model was launched during the quarter. However, during the same period, 11 online-exclusive SKUs were launched.