Buoyed by attractive offers and multiple promotional events, the online channels are expected to do brisk business this festival season, especially in the smartphone space, with sales projected to rise 10-15% Y-o-Y. During the previous festival season, online smartphone sales were in the range of 8-9 million units.
Consultancy firm techARC expects sale of 10 million smartphones during the festive season period, of which 6 million will be new additions to the 4G smartphone user base coming from 2G and 3G smartphones as well as feature phones. “Online retailers like Flipkart and Amazon have a wide range of 4G smartphones available across price segments of entry, basic, mid, premium and luxury categories to offer at attractive discounts. This product portfolio will be lapped up to replace existing 4G smartphones, but also to upgrade,” techARC founder Faisal Kawoosa told FE.
“If etailers play their marketing and advertising strategy well, they can significantly drive increase in overall 4G smartphone installed base across the country,” he said.
He added that however, it has to be primarily focused at states like West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Karnataka where installed base of non-4G smartphones is still above 30%,” Kawoosa explained.
On performance of online channels this Diwali, he said, “It will easily top the last numbers by around 10%. As we explained that this season the sales could top 10 million units, which will be against 8-9 million last year”. Technology is also playing an important role in guiding retailers on how to lure customers to their online stores.
According to Satish Meena, a senior forecast analyst with Forrester, online marketplaces like Amazon are key purchase influencers in a fashion shopper’s purchase journey. Shoppers are spending more time on marketplace sites to discover and research products, thereby providing retailers insight into buyers’ purchase decisions.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning tools allow retailers to leverage this wealth of consumer data toward responsive design and better product recommendations. This enables marketplaces to launch private-label fashion brands for entry-level customers, such as Moda Rapido and Here & Now by Indian online fashion retailer Myntra, and provide a superior customer experience, he added.
Forrester expects global online fashion market to hit $765 billion by 2022, capturing 36% of total fashion sales. Countries like China, South Korea, Japan, US, UK, India and France are the key drivers to this spending growth.
Counterpoint Research associate director Tarun Pathak, too, expects that going forward the online market will get a strong push from all the major brands as they are gearing up for the upcoming festive season sale. “Also, we expect online platforms to focus on targeting higher average selling price (ASP) models on their platforms rather than lower ASP devices to lure customers during the festive season sale,” Pathak explained in a recent report.
According to market research firm RedSeer Consulting, etailers are estimated to do gross sales of $3.7 billion during the six-day festive sale period starting starting September 29. For the whole festive month, sales are expected to top $7 billion for the e-tailing industry, more than 60% increase on year. Almost 32 million consumers are expected to shop during the sale period against 20 million during the previous year on the back of increasing demand from tier-two cities and beyond.