Chinese handset maker Oppo is aiming to increase the share of revenue coming from the online channel in India with the help of online exclusive handsets and its own e-commerce site.
It plans to start sales through own e-commerce site just before the festive season.
“We expect a significant share of our revenue to come from online sales…We do have plans to sell our smartphones through our own e-commerce site. The OPPO e-store is in an advanced stage and we expect to start sales on it before Diwali this year,” Charles Wong, CEO, OPPO India, told ET.
After building a robust offline channel, Wong said that Oppo is aiming to ensure that its products are available to customers that are flocking to eCommerce websites to buy handsets. This is the customer segment that has played a major role in helping Xiaomi outpace its rival over the last year or so.
“Hence, we implemented an aggressive multi-channel strategy to make our products available to the large and growing internet-savvy audience across India,” Wong added.
To drive growth in the online space, the company laid out a framework with an equal focus on its online distribution channel through our partnerships with brands like Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm, Snapdeal and TataCliq.
Oppo launched first online-focused K series earlier this year with K1. It expanded its K series this week with the launch of Oppo K3 smartphone.
The handset brand is planning to launch 2 to 3 phones every year under its K series to cater to customers in the online space.
“In India, consumers still prefer to experience the phones before purchasing and hence the offline segment for us has contributed to our sales significantly. But since the launch of our K series, we have seen encouraging growth in the online segment too,” he added.
According to a recent Counterpoint Research report, the Indian online smartphone shipment rate has seen a 17% YoY growth in the January-March quarter of 2019. The online channel cornered a 36% share of the overall sales in 2018, which further increased to 41% in the January-March quarter of 2019, driven by EMI offers and discounts. The share is expected to be around 37% for the whole year.
In India, Xiaomi was the leading player in the online space with a 43% market share in Q1 2019, followed by Samsung and Realme with 15% and 11% share, respectively. Asus and Huawei were the other two players in the top five. The top 5 brands captured 85% of the total online market.
Other BBK Electronics-owned handset brand, Vivo, has already launched an online exclusive handset series to grow market share. Realme and OnePlus, which were online-exclusive brands, are now looking at the offline channel for the next set of growth.
Korean handset major Samsung, which in February launched its online-exclusive series to target millennials has already sold 2 million devices online.
“…the increasing internet penetration has led to more awareness and online consumers have become more discerning. They expect a wider variety of smartphones that are competitively priced,” Wong said.
He, however, added that the challenge is to stand out from the competition and create a mark in the market.
Source: Economic Times