More than 50 percent of smartphones sold in India in 2021 were purchased online, according to a report, compared to more than a third last year. This shift in the purchasing trend is attributed to the expanded presence of COVID-19 and the high number of victims during the second wave in 2021. The report also said that consumers bought more smartphones (15 percent) belonging to affordable premium and premium segments ( with a price of Rs. 30,000 and above) in 2021 compared to last year (7 percent).
According to Counterpoint Research’s Market Lens consumer survey, movement restrictions during COVID-19 forced many offline consumers to buy phones online. In 2020, 63 percent of consumers bought smartphones through offline channels, compared to 37 percent in 2021. Last year, 47 percent bought their handsets through online channels, compared to 53 percent this year.
In addition, “The reverse migration of knowledge workers from large cities to smaller towns and villages also played a key role in popularizing online channels,” the research firm said. Moreover, special offers, different choices and prices are a few more reasons why people preferred online channels for buying smartphones.
Interestingly, there was also a shift in the source of information on smartphones. This year, consumers relied more on YouTubers and influencers rather than word of mouth and friends/family to make a smartphone purchase decision. Likewise, online reviews and articles were overlooked in favor of comparison websites and TV ads when making smartphone purchase decisions.
As mentioned, customers bought smartphones from the affordable premium and premium segment because they saved more by working from home. “The smartphone has become an essential part of life with the rise of virtual connectivity. As a result, there is a movement in the market, with a significant portion of smartphone users looking to buy their next smartphone of a higher price range,” the market research firm said.