According to the latest report by Counterpoint Research, e-commerce in India has made huge gains when it comes to smartphone shipments. In Q1 2018, e-commerce portals including Flipkart, Amazon India and Xiaomi’s online store for India, accounted for 38 percent of all smartphone shipments in the country. This is the highest it’s ever been for e-commerce in India, in a market that has traditionally favored brick-and-mortar stores for mobile phone and smartphone purchases.
While offline retail still controls the lion’s share of smartphone shipments in India, the fact that e-commerce now accounts for two out of every five smartphones sold in India is a sign of shifting trends. A plethora of smartphones that are online exclusive have been launched, and buyers are also seeing the advantages and convenience of shopping online. Furthermore, the early misconceptions that buying online is unsafe is no longer a factor.
The rapid growth and capital pumped into boosting Flipkart and Amazon’s presence in India, as well as the meteoric rise of Xiaomi to the top of the market, can be credited for the increasing market share of e-commerce. Flipkart accounts for 54 percent of e-commerce smartphone shipments, while Amazon India and Xiaomi account for 30 percent and 14 percent respectively.
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Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research said, India still has one of the lowest percentage of users who are connected to the internet and shop online. This trend is changing rapidly as 4G data consumption has increased and more users beyond metro cities are geared up to browse and shop online. Hence, in an effort to target first time shoppers, both Flipkart and Amazon have scaled up their operations in recent quarters, especially in the smartphone segment which is a major value driving category for these platforms.
The top five smartphones by online sales in India include four models from Xiaomi, and one model from Huawei, the Honor 9 Lite. 57 percent of smartphones sold online in India are Xiaomi devices, even as Xiaomi holds 31 percent of the total smartphone market in the country. And while the smartphone market has remained flat in Q1 2018 year-on-year, the online segment has grown by 4 percent.