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Online Channel Shipments Share Reached Highest Ever In India In Q1 2019

Posted by Counterpoint Research

Smartphone Shipments from the online channel reached its highest ever share of 43% during Q1 2019, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service. Online channel shipments grew 17% year-on-year (YoY) in Q1 2019 driven by new launches, sales events, and lucrative offers rolled out during the quarter.

Commenting on the findings, Anshika Jain, Research Analyst stated, “Price cuts of popular devices and more launches drove online channel shipments to the highest ever level In Q1 2019. Xiaomi’s Redmi 6A, and Note 6 and 7 series, Samsung’s online exclusive M series, Realme 3, HONOR 10 Lite, and ASUS Zenfone Max Pro series were the major contributors for the growth of the online segment. The high online channel share indicates that the new e-commerce policy has limited impact, and e-commerce giants have found a way to cope.”

Brands took advantage of their strong online reach to get rid of their excess inventory, before the change in India’s e-commerce policy in February 2019. Along with this, offline channels were still holding inventory accumulated during the record festive season in the last quarter of 2018.

Commenting on the brand performance, Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, stated, “This quarter we have seen brands adopting a hybrid channel strategy to gain market share. Key brands like Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus have started expanding offline, which reduced some of the dependency of these brands on online channels. Meanwhile, Samsung, traditionally strong in offline channels, focused on expanding in the online market with its M series on Amazon.  Offline expansion is a key strategy for the growth of these players. Having said that we believe that the online channel will continue to hold significant importance in a price-conscious market like India.”

Market Summary:

  • While the smartphone shipments in the offline segment declined by 4%, the online segment grew by 17% YoY
  • Xiaomi, Realme, ASUS, and Huawei contributed most for Flipkart and accounted for more than four-fifths of its total smartphone shipments. Flipkart Mobile Bonanza and Women’s Day Sale drove shipments of Xiaomi, Realme, and ASUS on its platform.
  • Though Flipkart led the overall online market with a 53% share, Amazon grew faster in Q1 2019 with 38% YoY growth. Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, and OnePlus drove Amazon’s growth. Amazon witnessed high sales of Redmi 6A, Samsung’s online exclusive M series, and OnePlus 6T on its platform.
  • Amazon’s contribution reached its highest ever level in the online smartphone segment. Amazon’s contribution also reached its highest ever level in the online premium smartphone segment (>Rs. 30,000 segment) with a share of 81% mainly due to sales of OnePlus, Samsung, and Apple.  Shipments from Flipkart contributed 17% of online smartphone premium segment in Q1 2019.
  • The top 5 brands captured 85% of the total online market.
  • Xiaomi alone captured around 43% of the total online market in Q1 2019. Its Redmi 6ARedmi Note 6 Pro and Redmi Note 7 series drove volumes, contributing to almost two-thirds of Xiaomi’s total online sales.
  • Samsung adopted online flash sales strategy for the first time with Amazon on the Galaxy M10 and M20 models, increasing Samsung’s online share to 15% in Q1 2019 with 31% YoY growth in the online segment. The initial demand for M series was strong due to which Samsung’s online contribution within its portfolio reached its highest ever level.
  • Realme 3 made an entry into the top ten online models’ category driven by its aggressive specs and online promotions.
  • Six out of the top ten models were from Xiaomi. Redmi 6A was the best-selling device in Q1 2019. It received multiple price cuts on online channels during the quarter.
  • Rs. 15,000- Rs. 20,000 was the fastest growing price segment in the online market in Q1 2019, driven by Xiaomi and Huawei. Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro was the best performing model in this price band followed by HONOR 10 Lite.―CT Bureau
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