What Worked For Consumer Electronics’ Offline Channel This Diwali

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  • Big screen TVs and large home appliances were best selling categories in Delhi NCR
  • These findings are based on recent interactions with different retail showrooms in the region

Big screen TVs and home appliances falling in the large category helped offline retailers generate good revenues this festive season in India. Based on our recent interactions with different consumer electronics showrooms in Delhi and NCR, TVs in the 43 to 65-inch category (109.22 to 165.1 cm) came out as the best selling products.

Interestingly, the likes of Amazon and Flipkart had also registered good sales in terms of consumer electronics this Diwali. Large appliances category, as per Amazon, saw an 8X growth on its portal. The e-commerce portal said that almost half of the sales came from lower tier towns powered by brands like Godrej, LG, Samsung and Whirlpool.

The offline vs online debate

The debate surrounding the online vs offline channel is of utmost importance to regions like Delhi NCR because a lot of e-commerce portals have been targeting these tier-I locations from the beginning. What worked for offline retailers this Diwali are the recent changes that govt has introduced in terms of consumer electronics sales.

There used to be challenges from the online sales channel but after the government introduced policy changes, these challenges have been reduced. Actually, we now, at a lot of times, are able to offer products cheaper than the online channel!,” shared Vijay Kumar, owner, Goldy Electronics, Delhi NCR.

But there are mixed feelings regarding ACE (appliances and consumer electronics) sales in the offline channel as well. While some of the retailers feel that the govt’s changes in the policy are working for them, others are of view that the online channel is turning out to be a major threat to ACE business in the offline space.

“While we are witnessing growth in the business, it is not as much as we had anticipated. I think the online channel is giving us major competition,” shared Manoj Garg, Samrat Electronics, Delhi NCR.

A recent report by Redseer Consulting had informed that mobile phones had dominated the sales and accounted for 55 per cent of the total GMV (Gross Merchandising Value). The report further added that in terms of GMV, it is 30 per cent higher than what the Flipkart and Amazon had generated in terms of GMV last year.

Ganpati Electronics, TV Display Area, EFY Images

What worked for the offline channel this Diwali

The touch and feel part, as per most of the ACE showrooms we spoke to, is playing a crucial role in the offline channel. Consumers like to touch, feel and check how products like TVs in the 43 to 63-inch category and large home appliances feel before making final purchases.

“In case of big appliances, consumers prefer to check prices and discounts on both channels. If we are able to match or even come close to the prices offered by the online channel, then a lot of these potential consumers prefer buying from the offline channel. But most importantly, consumers want to check how large appliances feel and function, before making purchases, “shared Shishir Malohtra, owner, Malhotra Enterprises.

Additionally Diwali is a time when a lot of consumers want the products to be delivered and installed almost in the same day of the purchase. While many brands and the online channel tried offering such services this Diwali, it seems as if the offline channel had a upper hand here as well.

“I think service is critical for competition and survival in the market. Premium service is the biggest weapon to compete against online sales channels. Also, I always try to connect with consumers directly. If any of our customers face a challenge related to delivery or installation, I personally look after that!” shared Manish Chauhan, Sony Brand Shop owner, Ambience Mall.

TV Display at Bhagwati Electronics and Telecommunications

Digital payments and EMIs are a boon

The biggest boon that’s proving to be a saviour for the offline channel includes digital payments and EMI services. Majority of the ACE retail showrooms that we spoke to pointed out towards EMI facilities as the biggest advantages.

Why? Because these not only help consumers stretch their budgets but these also mean that consumer electronics retailers do not have to run to banks for payments ever now and then!

“Digital payments help in the business as consumers, at many times, upscale their budgets and opt for EMIs on credit cards. For example, a consumer who is interested in buying a 32-inch TV upscales to a 43-inch one because he pays the difference in amount through EMIs on credit cards. Direct finance firms like Bajaj and HDB are also helping customers to make decisions in upscaling purchases,” shared Akhil Bansal, owner, Isha Electrovision, Delhi NCR.

Author – Mukul Yudhveer SinghAn avid reader, Mukul finds peace in books and technology. He’s as passionate about writing as he is about cricket and hitting the gym. If not writing or reading, you will most likely find him drawing tattoo designs or analyzing political campaigns.

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