Online channel accounted for about 45 per cent of the mobile phone sales in the country in 2020, according to Counterpoint Research.
Online sales accounted for about 26 per cent share of the global mobile phone market last year – meaning that one in four mobile phones sold was purchased online.
“COVID-19 had a big role in this change in consumer behaviour. By major country, India showed the highest online share at 45 per cent, followed by the UK at 39 per cent and China at 34 per cent,” the report said.
Online sales accounted for 31 per cent share in Brazil, 24 per cent in the US, 16 per cent in South Korea and 8 per cent in Nigeria, as per the report.
The share of online handset sales (global) in 2020 increased by nearly 6 per cent points compared to the previous year, while it increased by more than 10 per cent in terms of market size, it added.
“This trend was strong not only in advanced markets such as the US and Europe but also in emerging markets such as India and Latin America. In China, where the spread of COVID-19 first occurred, it peaked in the first half and softened slightly in the second half, while the US and India recorded the highest ever online share in the second half of 2020,” Counterpoint said.
The report predicted that this trend of increasing online share will slow down for some time, and this year will be similar to the previous year or slightly lower.
After the rapid growth in 2020, we expect 2021 to see some easing after the COVID-19 vaccination. However, it is expected to grow slightly every year from 2022 onwards, supported by growth in emerging markets and the middle-aged population becoming more accustomed to IT devices and internet use, Counterpoint Research Senior Analyst Sujeong Lim said.
But in the case of India, which currently has the highest online proportion, it may decrease to a certain level after 2022 due to the development of offline infrastructure such as multi-brand stores and large-scale retail stores, Lim added.
“On the other hand, the future growth of the online market in SEA (South East Asia) and MEA (Middle East and Africa) is noteworthy, Lim said.