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Smartphone Shopping in India: What Drives 40% of Surveyed Consumers to Amazon?

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With the increasing adoption and usage of the Internet in recent years, India’s vast population has propelled it to become one of the fastest-growing countries for first-time online shoppers. E-commerce companies are capitalizing on this growth, making it easier for customers to buy products, particularly smartphones. Despite the plethora of digital shopping platforms available, one player continues to stand out as the undisputed leader in consumer trust: Amazon.

According to a recent survey by Counterpoint Research in May 2024, an impressive 38% of the surveyed Indians preferred purchasing their smartphones from Amazon.in. Following closely behind, Flipkart captures a respectable 25% share, while 18% of respondents opt to visit physical mobile brand showrooms.

Factors Influencing Purchase Decisions

Delving deeper into Indian consumer preferences reveals that trust emerges as a critical factor influencing their choice of platform, whether online or offline.

  • Trust: A significant 29% of surveyed Indians cited it as a crucial factor in choosing digital platforms like Amazon.in and Flipkart, as well as brand websites, for their smartphone purchases.
  • Product Availability: Another important consideration for smartphone buyers in India, with 16% emphasizing this factor.
  • Enticing Offers: Cited by 12% of respondents believe these kinda deals enhance the appeal of these digital platforms for purchasing smartphones.
  • Physical Interaction: Offline channels attract consumers by giving them the opportunity to physically interact with the product, which helps them assess its build quality and features firsthand.
  • Store Trust: Trust in the store or showroom plays a significant role in the decision-making process.
  • Immediate Purchase: As consumers can immediately take the smartphone home, offline shopping has become a compelling choice for many.

Notably, the channel of purchase is considered “important” to “very important” when buying smartphones. Four out of five (80%) respondents consider this aspect significant, indicating the considerable weight consumers place on the platforms they choose for their smartphone purchases.

Tarun Pathak, Research Director, emphasized the increasing comfort and trust with online ordering. A whopping 47% of respondents prefer to buy smartphones online, while 41% are open to both online and offline modes.

India’s e-Retail Market

India’s e-retail market has witnessed significant growth, reaching $57–$60 billion by the end of 2023 and is estimated to surpass $160 billion by 2028. Concurrently, the number of online shoppers has surged to an estimated 230–250 million people by the end of 2023.

Despite these remarkable figures, online spending in India remains relatively low compared to leading economies like the US and China. Currently, online spending accounts for only 5%–6% of total retail in India, a stark contrast to the US (23%–24%) and China (35%+).

However, several factors are propelling e-retail growth in India. Enhanced physical and digital accessibility, coupled with increased affordability and convenience, are key drivers of this expansion.

Looking ahead, millions of households are anticipated to enter the e-retail spending cohort by 2028. Specifically, an estimated 60–70 million households from upper-middle- and upper-income segments are projected to account for at least 85% of e-retail spending by 2028.

With the wider product availability and speedy delivery, Amazon.in emerges as the go-to choice for smartphone purchases across Tier I and other cities in India. This dominance is also attributed to the trust consumers have in the platform, as well as its convenience and efficiency.

What’s your preferred mode, online or offline, for buying smartphones and why? Let us know in the comment section below!

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