Indians buy a lot of smartphones. So many, in fact, that a study by Counterpoint Research says that in the next five days, when Flipkart and Amazon are holding festive sales, India will see over $1 billion (just under Rs. 7,500 crore) in smartphone sales.
Flipkart's Big Billion Days sale and Amazon's Great Indian Festival Sale are likely to contribute to more than 85% of the total smartphones sold in India in next five days, surpassing the Black Friday sale in America, with a predicted 75% growth over the number of phones sold last year.
"Online sales are estimated to grow faster than offline sales during this festive month as the top two online retailers are set to leverage pent up festive demand in the next 30 days," explained Anshika Jain, research analyst at Counterpoint Research.
"This will be mainly driven by the multitude of new smartphone launches across different price points in the online channels this year as compared to last year. Flipkart has cornered maximum number of exclusive smartphone models," she added. "However, Amazon is looking strong with its premium smartphone offerings as well as its growing stickiness and value offered with the Prime programme."
Although e-commerce sales in India are growing quickly and have caught up with Black Friday in the US, these still pale in comparison with Single's Day in China. Although 11/11 (November 11) in China is supposed to be a day of celebrating being single, over the years, it has become a popular day to get married too. It is also the biggest shopping day in the world, thanks to the likes of Alibaba and JD.com.
"India is still underpenetrated market with just 35% of the population owning a smartphone," said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research. "This year, we are estimating that smartphones worth over $1 billion are likely to be sold in the next five days."
Counterpoint also noted that the contribution of Chinese brands to total online sales is estimated to cross 70% this year, with mid-tier devices priced between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 15,000 likely to be popular online.