Samsung Surrenders To Offline Mobile Retailers: Withdraws Amazon Pay Offer!

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Not long ago Samsung India had announced cashback offers in partnership with the Amazon Pay app, the digital wallet of the e-commerce giant Amazon. It was meant for online and offline sales of Samsung’s mobile phones. However, these offers were quickly recalled and the association with Amazon Pay was swiftly severed.

What exactly went wrong? Let’s find out.

Samsung India had to unwillingly recall their promotional cashback offers in association with Amazon Pay as a huge number of offline retailers under the umbrella of India Mobile Retailers Association, aka AIMRA, collectively planned to boycott any and every sale of Samsung’s mobile phone handsets from February 11 to 13th.

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The Amazon pay offer on Samsung mobiles required offline customers to have mandatory registration with Amazon. Besides, retailers were also required to register themself with Amazon Pay to pas the discount to customers. This, however, resulted in the fear of losing customers to online eCommerce behemoth Amazon among all retailers.

Why did they take such a drastic step you may ask. Well, our Indian smartphone or mobile retailers have long been hurting from Samsung’s range of smartphones that were launched and made exclusive to online e-commerce platforms such as that of Amazon. This particular move by the Korean giant was perceived as they were trying to prioritise the promotion of e-commerce over retail sales and therefore was naturally not received well by our Indian mobile retailers.

Other major smartphone giants such as Oppo, Vivo, Realme and Xiaomi were quick on their feet to play along with AIMRA’s demands and came to a viable agreement with them by ensuring their pricing, model and promotion between the online and offline channels. Samsung, the Korean giant had to finally bow down to AIMRA’s demands owing to the fact that they haven’t been doing so well amid all the Chinese rival competitors, struggling both at retail and online. There were rumours of Samsung slashing Indian jobs due to the same reason as well, but that was quickly shot down by one of their spokespeople.

What does the future hold for Samsung’s smartphones in India?

Samsung, the Korean tech giant is currently boxed in by some heavy-hitting Chinese rivals, most prominently OnePlus and Xiaomi when it comes to e-commerce channels. The online channels account for 46% of the total smartphone shipments in India as of Q3 2019. The Korean giant have dropped prices for smartphones as well as their televisions by 25-40% since end-2017 to compete with price-aggressive Chinese rivals hoping to keep their previously owner market share which is shrinking day by day. The major price cuts that Samsung has put in motion in the year 2019 was for online-exclusive smartphone models such as the Galaxy M Series and the Super6 Series of ultra-HD smart TVs.

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(Source: GraphFarm) The India smartphone market share by top vendors, starting from Q1 2014 to the most recently completed quarter. The list of top five smartphone brands in India in Q4 2019 includes Xiaomi, Vivo, Samsung, Realme, and Oppo.

In India, offline still accounts for around 65% of total smartphone sales in India and therefore this is a domain that Samsung should carefully think about. It most certainly has the potential to give them the winning edge that they are looking for and now it depends upon how do they position their future smartphones in terms of pricing and model to win over Indian customers. We will definitely get to see more cut-throat and brutal competition between all the key smartphone players in the Indian market in 2020 with new smartphone models at various price points and with innovative features. Let us know what you think of Samsung’s range of smartphones compared to others in the comments down below.

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