Walmart-owned Flipkart has topped India’s online smartphone market in 2020. The company was able to capture a 48 per cent market in online smartphone shipments during the pandemic year while Realme and Poco were the top smartphone brands on Flipkart cornering over 50 per cent of the shipments on the marketplace, according to a Counterpoint report. On the other hand, Amazon was the fastest growing online platform with 34 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth on the back of high shipments from brands including Xiaomi, Samsung, and OnePlus. “Covid helped here in a way as these online channels pivoted to scale up their campaigns during the pandemic which helped them,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research told Financial Express Online.
Growing at 7 per cent YoY, the online smartphone market reached its highest-ever share of 45 per cent during the Covid year which witnessed a decline in overall market shipments. Covid-induced change in consumer behaviour to shop online helped online channels to grow their shipments. Moreover, discounts and promotions during sales and the festive season, according to the report, focusing on affordability fueled consumer demand. The industry experienced pent-up demand during Q3 2020 due to the nearly six-week lockdown in the second quarter. Consequently, multiple brands had aligned their channel strategy to the new normal. According to Counterpoint, Samsung increased its share in the online channels to grab the second spot driven by the strong shipments of the Galaxy M-series on Amazon. During Q4 2020, Samsung had launched the Galaxy F41 on Flipkart to further expand its online share.
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However, Xiaomi emerged as the top online smartphone brand on the back of strong shipments of the Redmi Note 8 series and Redmi 8 series on Amazon and Poco phones on Flipkart. The Xiaomi Redmi 8A Dual was the top online smartphone model in 2020. Realme had also increased its market share to 19 per cent while Vivo captured the fourth position and OnePlus hit the fifth rank in the overall online smartphone market.
Nonetheless, offline channels are likely to make a comeback in 2021 as consumers recover from the Covid-19 scare in the coming months. “Also, multiple brands are focusing on expanding their offline market reach. Major online brands are adopting a hybrid channel strategy and expanding their offline stores. Also, as the smartphone brands move to a more ecosystem strategy and multiple devices, the focus will be on consumer experience, which will further grow the offline segment,” according to the report.