Analysts are expecting the offline smartphone retail outlets to make a comeback in 2021. According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report published in December 2020, the online sales accounted for 51 percent of overall sales of smartphones in October, growing 53 percent year -on- year (YoY). The report had also noted that the offline channel, especially in smaller towns and cities, witnessed a healthy 33 percent YoY growth.
The rebound in offline sales of smartphones is expected to be led by Tier 2 cities across the country.
“The smartphone market in India continues to be predominantly offline. The market conditions in 2020 were such that it drove the online retail contribution to greater heights. However, as we step into the neo normal, we believe the offline retail market will rebound, and account for 60 percent of the smartphone sales in India,” said Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR).
“Our assessment is based on the fact that aspirational India, across Tier-II cities and beyond, is still relatively under-penetrated, and offers significant headroom for growth. In the post-pandemic future, consumers in these markets are seeking to connect with the fledgling digital economy via smartphones. This consumer demand will fuel the offline market going forward,” he said.