53% of smartphone consumers bought their devices online in 2021: Survey

Online channels have taken a step ahead of offline channels in India’s smartphone market, according to a report from Counterpoint Research.

According to Counterpoint Research’s Market Lens consumer survey, 53% of the country’s smartphone consumers purchased their devices online in 2021, up from more than a third (47%) last year.

Similar numbers were recorded by Counterpoint’s smartphone shipping data. Additionally, according to Market Lens, the premium and affordable premium segments became more active in 2021 with 15% of respondents buying phones in the 30,000 and above price range, up from 7% in 2020.

The pandemic has pushed many offline consumers to online platforms due to movement restrictions, according to the report.

In addition, the reverse migration of knowledge workers from big cities to smaller towns has also played a key role in popularizing online channels. Besides new buyers, there is a strong uptake among buyers who are already using the online channels. online channels, ”Arushi Chawla told Counterpoint Research Analyst in a blog post.

“The transition to a digital platform requires people to step out of a certain comfort zone. But that reluctance has faded into the background, as online shopping becomes a safer (sometimes only) alternative to the affected offline marketplace. Covid-19, “Chawal added.

There were more reasons to prefer online rather than offline, even beyond the pandemic. According to survey respondents, special offers, variety of choices and prices were the main reasons they prefer online channels for purchasing smartphones.

“We are calling this shift to online digitization because, aside from the preference for online channels, people also rely on YouTubers and influencers for information on buying a smartphone,” Chawla said.

The survey highlighted a shift from word of mouth and friends / family for smartphone recommendations in 2020 to the use of YouTube tech influencers, online reviews and articles and websites from comparison.

The change was catalyzed by the social distancing and work-from-home scenarios triggered by Covid-19, according to the report.

Moreover, in 2020, many respondents in the ₹ 20,000 and above price segment had planned to cut the budget for their next smartphone.

However, premium and affordable, both segments became more prominent in 2021.

Based on the survey results, the share of smartphone users in the below ₹ 30,000 price range decreased from 2020 to 2021.

“Due to the telecommuting situation, respondents are saving more than usual. In addition, the smartphone has become an essential part of life with the rise of virtual connectivity. As a result, there is movement in the market, with a significant portion of smartphone users looking to buy their next smartphone in a higher price bracket, ”said Chawla.

“During the Indian holiday season of 2021, there is strong consumer demand in the mid and high end segments. In fact, the aspiration for premium smartphone brands increased from 2020 to 2021, ”added Chawla.

“Even as more and more respondents are considering affordable premium and premium segments, there are few players competing. This further highlights OEMs with a smaller current market share,” added Chawla.

The Market Lens survey was conducted among smartphone users in India for the years 2020 and 2021, with respondents spread across the North, East, West and South regions.

Samples of 1,023 units for 2020 and 976 for 2021 were collected from Indian smartphone users.

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