Smartphone Sales Increase with Ecommerce


smartphoneAn interesting symbiotic pattern is developing between the smartphone and the internet.

The relationship began when mobiles proliferated, putting China online shopping within easy reach of the nation’s people countrywide.

Now, ecommerce is boosting phone sales as vendors reduce their subsidies, and etailers, Suning Yigou, and Alibaba’s Tmall close the gap in a remarkable example of reciprocal gearing.

Smartphone Makers Smiling Says IDC

ZDNet interviewed IDC’s Asia-Pacific senior market analyst for client devices. Tay Xiaohan confirmed that ecommerce mobile sales grew 58 percent year-on-year in Q2 of 2015 in terms of unit growth, and now stand at 21% overall.

“Etailers in China often offer discounts or free gifts to consumers,” he explained. “They also tend to sell phones at a lower price as compared to the offline retail shops. They have also started offering more services through China online shopping in recent years.”

Phone Makers Actively Supporting Ecommerce Sales

ZDNet advises that some smartphone models are available only on the internet. There, manufacturers and wholesalers are seeking traction from virtual sales upstaging bricks and mortar trade. This is not surprising, given congestion downtown in major cities, and the sparse distribution of shopping centres in remote rural areas.

This trend sits well with some China online shopping vendors providing added-value services such as mobile screen insurance. Alternate payment options allow customers to trade in their old phones, and pay purchases off in monthly instalments.

Huawei Leads in Terms of Web-Based Smartphone Sales

According to IDC, the phone builder Huawei has most traction when it comes to selling mobile on the internet, through its online stores on three major etailers. It expects that Tier 1 and Tier 2 Cities will remain hotspots. This is despite Alibaba’s efforts to extend coverage in the countryside by expanding distribution. Some phone makers are content to trade on public platforms. Others, like Xiaomi prefer to use their own resources.


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Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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