The Covid-19 has changed the market equations completely. Almost every industry has resorted to online channels in a bid to survive and thrive, and the India smartphone industry is no exception.
The share of online smartphone sales in India reached an all-time high in Q2 2020. Smartphone manufacturers focused more on online channels amid the nationwide lockdown that bought the whole industry to a complete halt for almost 40 days.
According to the latest report from Counterpoint Research, online channels accounted for 45% of the total smartphone sales in Q2 2020. Overall smartphone shipments in India tanked by 51% YoY as only 18 million units were shipped in the quarter.
Overall, Xiaomi, Samsung and Vivo emerged as the top three smartphone manufacturers in India. Led by the impressive performance of Xiaomi, their combined shipments share clocked 72% during Q2 2020. Xiaomi, which is immensely focused on online sales strategies since it debuted the India market, accounted for 29% of the total smartphone shipments in India during the quarter. It’s expected that nearly half of its sales came through online channels.
In Q1 2020, Xiaomi remained the market leader in online channels with 48 per cent share, followed by Realme which accounted for 18% share of the total online smartphone sales in India. It’s expected that the trend continued in the Q2 2020 as well.
The novel Coronavirus caused the loss of business for almost 40 days in the second quarter of the year. However, online channels especially Flipkart and Amazon quickly restored their operations post lockdown to deliver non-essentials items including smartphones.
On the other hand, the demand for smartphones shot up as well. The remote working and eLearning requirements push people to buy more smartphones for their family members and kids.
People suddenly found themselves living in the era of Zoom calls and video content. A sizeable number of people, who were hooked with the basic feature phone or sub-standard camera smartphones, found an inevitable requirement of having a better quality camera smartphone. Hence, the sales of entry and mid-range smartphones, i.e Redmi 8A, Redmi 8 Pro and Redmi Note 8 skyrocketed and attracted the eyeballs of consumers due to competitive pricing, strong value propositions, and availability on online channels.
The seeded fear of infection from Coronavirus made consumers turn towards contactless shopping of smartphones in India. Amazon and Flipkart, both took advantage of fast-changing consumers preferences and having their fleet of delivery boys on the ground. They channelised their marketing campaigns to offer better deals along with the safe delivery of smartphones at the doorstep.
The trends also indicate that the online sales of smartphones in India will reach an all-time high in 2020. The rising number of daily cases are keeping the consumers away from venturing out their homes much. As a result, bricks and mortars showrooms are witnessing the record low number of footfalls, even after two months since the nationwide lockdown was lifted.