WhatsApp marketing, home delivery; how retailers are selling mobile phones as market recovery waits

Retailers and offline stores have also been trying to adopt new techniques to attract customers. (Image: Reuters)

The smartphone market is expected to recover in the second half of 2020 even as it reported a nosedive in the earlier months of the year due to coronavirus. Retailers and offline stores have also been trying to adopt new techniques to attract customers, according to a report by IDC. “Many offline channel partners adopted new ways of marketing by reaching out to consumers through social media platforms, WhatsApp, references, etc., for doorstep demos and deliveries, as well as accepting contactless payments,” Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, said in a statement on Friday.

India’s smartphone market registered a sharp on-year decline of over 50% as the country remained under lockdown after April. However, there was a sales revival by June, mainly due to the pent-up demand from the lockdown period. Purchases were mainly driven by availability rather than by choice as there was lesser availability of products due to supply chain disruption. Even after lockdown restrictions were eased, factory outlets operated at partial capacity, which made a further dent to production.

Even amid prevalent anti-China sentiments, smartphones from China continued to remain the most-selling in the category, with Xiaomi leading with total shipments, even while there was a considerable drop in sales as compared to previous year. In fact, Xiaomi’s sales fell by almost half. “Four out of the top five models in 2Q20 were Xiaomi models… accounting for 21.8% share. Xiaomi launched its Mi Commerce solution to create an omnichannel experience for partners but also continued its dominance in the online channel with 42.3% share in 2Q20,” the report said. However, Samsung has outshone Chinese smartphone brand Vivo for the second most selling smartphone brand in the country. Overall, Chinese smartphones are still the most selling phones in the country with four in top five most-selling phones in India belonging to China. Other than Xiaomi and Vivo, RealMe and Oppo are the most-selling smartphone brands. 

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