The Covid-19-lockdown and its aftermath had a significant impact on consumers’ shopping behaviour, primarily on online portals. While the initial days of lockdown restricted shopping of non-essential items, including smartphones, there was a rise in online buying of smartphones in May and June. According to a report by Counterpoint Research, online channels grabbed a 43% share in Q2 2020 of the India online smartphone market and this may go up to 45% in the year.
During the quarter, e-commerce giant Amazon beat its arch-rival Flipkart to hold the highest ever share of 47% among online channels compared to Flipkart’s 42%. This was the first time when Amazon has outrun Flipkart in terms of market share in online smartphone channel.
In Q2 2019, Flipkart was leading the online segment with a 58% share while Amazon’s market share was recorded at 29%.
For Amazon, Xiaomi, Samsung and OnePlus drove the shipments during the quarter. In the online premium smartphone segment, OnePlus captured over 50% share followed by Apple with 25% share. As per the report, no offline-exclusive model was launched during the quarter except 11 online-exclusive SKUs.
Despite the sentiment against Chinese brands in India, Xiaomi remained the market leader in online channels with a 44% market share. South Korean brand Samsung had managed to double its market share to 25% in Q2 2020 as compared to Q2 2019.
The Jeff Bezos-led firm saw strong shipments of Xiaomi Redmi 8A Dual, Samsung Galaxy M30s and Galaxy M31. Among the top ten smartphone models on Amazon, nine were from Xiaomi and the lone representation from Samsung. Realme was the top brand on Flipkart.
The report further said that online channels’ shipments had declined compared to last year. However, consumers preferred online platforms to avoid the risks of the pandemic and online portals reached pre-Covid shipments level at the end of Q2 2020.
During the quarter, offline channels captured 57% market share in which another Chinese brand Vivo remained the top brand, followed closely by Samsung. Multiple brands also adopted an online-to-offline (O2O) business model and hyperlocal delivery to help their offline channel partners and drive up volumes.