Cautious optimism in smartphone market. Online sales, premium segment grew

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According to GfK market intelligence, overall category sales in terms of units for offline retail grew by 4 per cent whereas online retail sales grew by 29 per cent during YTD Oct 2021 compared to 2020. During the same period, online channel contribution for smartphone market accounted for 40 per cent in terms of sales units and 41 per cent in terms of sales value vs 35 per cent in 2020.  This reflects the rising consumer trust and digitalization of purchase journeys fuelling the online retail contribution to overall category sales of smartphones.

GfK market intelligence reveals overall growth in smartphone sales, price segments along with geographical market penetration from January 2021 to October 2021 for the market. 

Looking at the price trends, the point-of-sales data outlined an increase of sales unit by 56% for premium smartphones ranging between 30,000 to 40,000. Sales also went up for smartphones priced above 40,000 by 41 per cent, which underlines the increasing demand for premium products in the Indian smartphone market. 

Kartik Vasudevan, Director – Sales, GfK India said, “As markets have moved from “want” to “need” norm, it is not only about the product/ device but consumer ‘Lifestyle’. Consumers turned to tech to continue working and learning while staying at home and this has triggered some structural shift in buying behavior. As home norm continues, consumers are keen to invest in products which promise quality and longevity.”

GfK insights also reveal the geographical penetration of smartphone market. The overall sales for smartphones in tier 5 and above representing less than 50,000 population registered 11 per cent volume growth in offline retail during YTD Oct 2021/2020, followed by 7 per cent increase in tier 3 cities. 

Kartik also added, ‘Smartphone market is still dominated by less than 15k price segment, however, there has been an increase in sales of premium products as mobile phones have essentially become first digital touchpoint or device to access internet. For some consumers it is their first computer in a way and with 5G paving its way, this trend might accelerate the price push further.’ 

There is a cautious optimism in the market which will be governed by interplay of domestic manufacturing, imports, transportation cost and raw material prices.

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