India’s overall online smartphone shipments grew 23% annually, faster than the overall smartphone market in Calendar Year 2017.
Seasonal sales events, aggressive promotions and value for money offerings from Chinese brands drove the demand for the online channel. These are findings from the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service.
Commenting on the research findings, Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said: “The high-spec but low-cost, value for money smartphone models exclusively available only on online platforms were instrumental in successfully creating unprecedented demand throughout the year. The demand for such models was felt not only in online but offline channels as well due to walk-in customers asking for attractive models such as the Redmi Note 4. This has sparked an obvious channel extension strategy move to expand offline and capture the pent-up demand which is helping vendors such as Xiaomi which are able to offer such attractive models. In 2018, many brands will learn from Xiaomi’s growth from online to offline and will try to replicate a similar strategy.”
“Online channel contributes to more than one third of the total smartphones shipped in India during the year, which is the highest in the world. Flipkart led the online smartphone channel capturing more than half of the market in both volume and value terms, maintaining its lead with Amazon,” added Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research said. “However, Amazon (was) also able to grow share capturing almost one third of the market in volume and value terms. Indian online channel market has become a duopoly with Flipkart and Amazon capturing a combined 84% of the total volume and 87% of the total value.
Together Flipkart and Amazon were able to attract a lot of brands and consumers on their platforms by launching close to 100 exclusive model throughout the year. However, these platforms will have to adopt multiple strategies from increasing number of serviceable ZIP codes, SKUs hybrid offline stores and customer service kiosks to attract and gain more users to the platform.