IDC: India smartphone market driven by attractive financing

04 Jan 2019

The latest IDC Consumer PULSE research study revealed that a third of Indian consumers consider availability of good deals and experiencing latest specification or feature as the prime reasons for buying a new smartphone.

This can be attributed to multiple sales events backed by high decibel marketing, especially by eTailers with attractive financing schemes helping drive affordability.

Word of mouth continues to be the most prominent source influencing the consumer buying behavior for smartphones. This has been a key factor for success of brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus with their unique go to market approach and spreading the word of mouth augmented by dedicated fan-based community. Brand trust is the highest influencing factor for two third of Xiaomi consumers, followed by value for money proposition and availability of latest specifications.

IDC market analyst Sachin Mehta says: “In terms of specifications, consumers have many choices especially from China based vendors at affordable prices. Currently, RAM and processing speed are the most preferred specifications followed by bigger battery size and superior camera quality. Additionally, features like face unlock and waterproofing are yet to gain importance amongst consumers.”

Convenience tops the list for reasons for the growing popularity of online shopping among Indian consumers. “Almost 40% of consumers prefer online channel for the overall comfort and convenience, followed by prices offered by eTailers. Indian consumers are also option for Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) options when it comes to purchasing a smartphone, followed closely by use of Debit/Credit cards owing to multiple tie ups by eTailers with Banks for cash back offers,” notes Upasana Joshi , associate research manager, Channel Research, IDC India.

Among consumers opting for the physical store, about 66% cite “hands on experience” of the device as important to making the final purchase. More than half of offline consumers also value the near to home convenience. This is driving the retailer/promoter push at the shop counter in deciding the brand and model choice for the consumer.

Offline consumers prefer to pay cash at the counters, although IDC notes a steady uptake in payment options through EMIs and Debit/Credit cards. Also, offline consumers opt for multi-brand outlets with two-thirds making the final purchase at these outlets.

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