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Smartphones: Click & Buy

India’s very own ‘Cyber Mondays’ and ‘Black Fridays’ beat online smartphone sale records

Photo Credit : Bloomberg


The stress of jostling through crowds, inattentive sales reps and traffic woes have paved way for rise in online smartphones sales. And what better time to shop than during the festive season, when online retailers woo consumers with offers, discounts and even exchange schemes.

All marketers compete for consumer’s attention by allocating special budgets during the festive season. “Consequentially all companies and brands look forward and plan-ahead for these months with new product launches, incremental marketing spends, and consumer offers, for leveraging this demand tsunami,” says Navkendar Singh, Associate Research Director, IDC. For enhanced sales, smartphone brands in India typically tie up with top online platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon. In fact, the recently concluded Amazon’s Great Indian Sale Festival and Flipkart’s Big Billion Days cash in on the auspicious moment when consumers look forward to buy new handsets. All brands are investing heavily in marketing and consumer offers via both offline and online, additionally driven by online players. Singh believes that this should result in Q32018 (July to September) as the biggest quarter for smartphone shipments and as a result October to December to be the biggest in terms of sales.

During Q3 last year, the smartphone shipments in India reached 39 million units with both Samsung and Xiaomi leading the share tally at 23.5 per cent each. A total of 33.5 million smartphone units were shipped during second quarter (2018) in India.

Xiaomi is such example of the brands which cashes in on this opportunity by pushing sales in partnership with e-commerce portals. In 2017, Xiaomi sold one million phones in two days during a festive sale in September. This year, the recent festive sales on Amazon, Flipkart and Xiaomi’s e-store contributed in sale of Xiaomi’s 2.5 million devices in 2.5 days including devices including smartphones, power banks and LED TVs. Out of the 2.5 million devices sold, two million were just smartphones. “This year has been yet another incredible one with our products seeing wonderful performance in less than 2.5 days,” says Raghu Reddy, Head of Categories and Online sales, Xiaomi India.

OnePlus also achieved a spectacular feat by selling phones worth Rs 400 crore –booked within 36 hours after the Amazon’s sale commenced. “In smartphones, the market leading brands in both mass and premium segment – Xiaomi and OnePlus – saw their biggest single day sales ever on While Xiaomi sold more than a million devices in a single day, OnePlus saw a record pre-booking of their new launch OnePlus 6T,” reported Amazon India.

Huawei sub-brand Honor, one of the fastest growing smartphone brand aims to sell over a million Honor devices during the sale season. One of the biggest consumer electronics brand Samsung has a vast portfolio of products in the consumer electronics category. Rajeev Bhutani, Senior VP, Consumers Electronics Business, Samsung India stated, “Last year, the industry saw a 20-25 per cent growth during the festive season and more is anticipated this year. For Samsung, growing disposable incomes in tier 2/3 and rural markets will be pivotal for Samsung’s growth and they have also identified 80 key districts to focus on.

Japanese electronics giant Sony sees the festive season split over two months October and November, compared to last year (2017), when Diwali festival fell in the month of October. "We have observed that when the festival is split over two months, customers have better purchasing power leading to higher growth trends. We are expecting 20-25% value growth during the festive season from Sep-Nov ’18 vis-à-vis corresponding period last year. In the television category per se, we are expecting 100% growth in 139.7 cm (55) TV sets and above segment during the festive season."

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magazine 13 October 2018 smartphones