- All India Mobile Retailers Association has been complaining about the different treatments online and offline channels have been getting
- Many smartphone brands, at times, prefer launching smartphones in the online channel first
Samsung and Xiaomi are reportedly planning to launch smartphone models in the offline and online channels at the same time. This report, published by the Economic Times, also mentions of these models being launched at same prices in the online as well as offline channel.
All India Mobile Retailers Association, AIMRA, had recently stated that offline retailers would start retailing products at prices, they were available in the online channel at. The shortfall, in the price differences between online and offline channel, will be recovered from brands as per AIMRA.
Many online firsts
Many smartphone brands have been launching smartphone models in India through the online channel first. As a matter of fact, there have been examples of brands that started as online only brands in the country. Realme and Xiaomi are also among these.
The online launch is followed by offline launch with a seven to 14 days gap. There have been cases when this gap has been more than a month. Interestingly, there are also cases when the prices for the offline and the online channel have been different as well. One reason behind the same could be bulk-buying by the online players.
Smartphones vs consumer electronics
While smartphones sell like hotcakes through the offline channel, it is difficult to say the same about the bigger categories of consumer electronics. Sales of categories like washing machines, air conditioners, kitchen appliances and more categories are still dominated by the offline channel.
“India is a huge market and given the size of consumer electronics like washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators and more, consumers’ first experience of a purchase will mostly be through the offline channel. It is easier for a consumer to order repeat products online but the first purchase experiences, especially in the larger consumer electronics and appliances category will mostly be via the offline channel,” Shashi Arora, CEO, Llyod, had told EFY Group, during a recent one-on-one conversation.