E-commerce portals have set their sights on the festive season. Amazon and Flipkart are giving discount and cashback offers on a range of products from household items to bulky electronics.
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Amazon’s Great India Festival and Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sales coincide with Samsung and Xiaomi’s in the gadget segment. Samsung is promoting ‘No Mo FOMO’ sale with deals in various electronic products, including smartphones. Xiaomi is marketing ‘Tech ka Shubh Muhurat’. Apple is also joining these firms with its own promotional sale starting on Monday. Google is partnering with Flipkart to offer discount on the Pixel phones as it is about to launch the next generation of Pixel devices including watches and earbuds on October 6.
According to research firm Techarc, users are buying multiple devices, primarily smartphones. Smart TV, TWS earbuds and smartwatch are bought as result of lifestyle choices.
“With imminent 5G roll-outs in the near future, 5G premium smartphones and 5G value-for-money smartphones will be on top of the consumer purchase consideration list,” says Prabhu Ram, Head - Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR).
In the premium segment in Android, Samsung is going to be the key driver, said Navkendar Singh, Technology Industry Analyst at IDC. He pointed out that Xiaomi will emerge as the leading player followed by Realme, Vivo, Samsung and Oppo.
“There won’t be any significant change in the overall sales volume this year compared to last year because the ASP (average selling price) has gone up,” Singh added. The sales of IoT devices like earbuds, wearbles will be on the higher side as they have a short shelf life of around 6 to 8 months, he told.
According to CMR, a healthy potential sales for value-for-money smartphone (₹ 7,000- ₹ 24,999) and premium smartphone (> ₹ 25,000) segments is expected, especially 5G smartphones. On the other hand, entry-level affordable smartphones will continue to face the brunt with limited festive sales, as consumers in this segment are affected by changing economic conditions.
iPhones remain an aspirational purchase this festive season. With the launch of iPhone 14 series, the focus has shifted to iPhone 13 as the two phones do not have any noticeable difference.
“Apple will obviously remain a favourite pick among the premium buyers if not opting for an Android phone,” Singh said.
The bulk and corporate buyers will be the biggest contributors in this festive season as the concept of gifting will begin as Diwali arrives. On the contrary, existing feature phone users in the low-income group will find it hard to upgrade and move into smartphone ecosystem as ASPs have gone up and their incomes have stagnated or dropped.
As we speak with the industry analysts, they affirmed that the situation is not good for the entry segment buyers due to economic headwinds whereas the premium segment has the leverage to choose. The e-commerce giants are still optimistic about 2022 sales going up despite challenges. Amazon Business has reported double growth in corporate or bulk orders.
E-commerce portals have the advantage over individual players because they offer a rather wide set of items to redeem cashbacks and promotional coupons/codes on other items as well. The BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) and POD (pay-on-delivery) schemes are kind of game changers in Tier 2 and 3 areas.