Bengaluru, India-based electronic commerce Flipkart has taken a bigger dominance in the crucial online smartphone sales over Amazon in 2017, after selling more than half of the smartphones on its platform.
In 2017, Flipkart expanded its market share of online smartphones deliveries to 51 percent from 44 percent in 2016, while Amazon India grew slightly to 33 percent from 31 percent, a report from Counterpoint Research showed. In terms of smartphone volumes, Flipkart’s rose by 43 percent in 2017, while Amazon’s grew by 33 percent, according to the report issued on Friday.
The total Indian online smartphones shipments rose 23 percent yearly, faster than 2017’s total smartphone market, with Flipkart and Amazon taking a combined 84 percent of the total volume and 87 percent of the value.
However, Flipkart argued that it has larger market share and growth than what was reported.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi’s mi.com is also increasing its effort to boost sales through its own platform, now contributing 10 percent to the total online smartphone shipments.
According to Flipkart’s Senior Director of Smartphone, Ayyappan Rajagopal, “While they (Counterpoint) are directionally right about the market share, they have underplayed Flipkart’s numbers. We have 70% online market share and are growing 70% year-on-year.”
“We have been able to take the lead because of the exclusives launched on Flipkart and the affordability offerings,” he added.
Counterpoint said that the exclusive smartphone deals on online platforms bolstered sales for both platforms, with about 100 exclusive smartphones introduced in 2017.
“Exclusive smartphone models are the main heroes on online platforms, and whichever platform gets more deals will have more sales,” Karn Chauhan, a research analyst at Counterpoint, said.
“Flipkart took lead in this with an exclusive for Redmi Note 4 in January 2017, while Amazon started exclusive deals only in April with Redmi 4A. This gave Flipkart the lead,” he said.
India’s e-commerce giant had 64 exclusive deals, with 158 phone models launched on the platform last year, Ayyapan said. Rival Amazon, on one hand, had dominated the premium segment in the category, which is in the price range above Rs 30,000.
According to the report, Amazon led the 63 percent of the online premium category shipments last year boosted by OnePlus and Apple sales, while Flipkart managed 31 percent of the online smartphone premium category.
Online smartphone’s average selling price was Rs 11,500, increasing 10 percent year-on-year, and was 5 percent higher than the offline market.
Although online smartphone market shipments made up to more than one-third of total smartphones sold last year, Counterpart anticipates the share of online to stay flat this year, mentioning the offline-online hybrid strategies of different smartphone brands.
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