In 2020, online purchases of smartphones accounted for 26% of all sales globally. When you break it down further, it means that one in every four smartphones that were bought were purchased from online channels.
According to a report from Counterpoint Research, the Coronavirus pandemic was a major factor that boosted online sales in multiple countries.
India was a key region, witnessing the highest online share at 45% along with the UK with 39% and China coming in at 34%. This implies that the share of online smartphone sales in 2020 rose by 6% over a year prior. For market size, it marked an increase of more than 10%.
The trend was also recorded in other regions as well, like the US and Europe. Emerging markets like Latin America also benefitted from this trend, notably the US and India recorded the highest ever online share in the second half of last year. While the market witnessed a sizeable growth in online sales, this trend is also expected to slow down a bit for a while. Online sales in 2021 are similar but slightly lower than last year.
Senior Analyst Sujeong Lim stated that post the rapid growth in 2020, they expected 2021 to go better especially after the COVID-19 vaccination came out.
However, it is expected to grow slightly every year from 2022 onwards, supported by growth in emerging markets and the middle-aged population becoming more accustomed to IT devices and internet usage. In the case of India, which has the highest online proportion, it may reduce to a certain level after 2022 due to the development of offline infrastructures such as multi-brand stores and large-scale retail stores.