Although the e-commerce space in India is dominated by Flipkart and Amazon India, some smartphone manufacturers have seen the advantages in also selling devices on their own websites. Brands such as Xiaomi, Samsung, OnePlus and Vivo have established their own online stores which are exclusive to their own products, and this has allowed these companies to boost sales. According to a new report by the Economic Times, Google could be looking to get into the e-commerce space as well, but only for its own hardware products.
Google did have an e-store for its products previously, but has since switched its strategy to selling its hardware products on specialized e-commerce platforms as well as offline through key retailers. Currently, it’s possible to buy Google hardware products including the Pixel smartphone range, the Google Home smart speaker range and the Google Chromecast dongle for TVs online on Flipkart and Paytm. Google could be looking to get back into the business of selling its own products on its own platform, while outsourcing the logistics of stocking and shipping to a third-party operator.
While Google does generate a fair amount of attention in India, it has a very small share of the market. According to Counterpoint Research, Google smartphones account for 0.03 percent of total smartphone sales in India, and just about 1.6 percent of the premium smartphone market which is currently dominated by OnePlus, Samsung and Apple. Introducing its own e-commerce marketplace will reduce the company’s dependence on online partners such as Flipkart, although it will likely continue to sell its devices through third-party platforms and offline.
Currently, Google does have an online presence for its hardware products in the form of store.google.com. However, it isn’t possible to complete a purchase here, and will simply direct the customer to online and offline retailers where the products can be purchased. The new e-commerce store will allow the company to sell its products directly as well, gaining access to user data and analytics that are important in gaining insights into the usage habits of its customers.
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