Coronavirus drives trend to record levels
Online retail will account for more than one in four global smartphone purchases this year, according to Strategy Analytics.
The research firm forecasts that 28 per cent of smartphones bought this year will be purchased online, an increase of four per cent annually.
This is a record share for the online channel, driven partly by global lockdowns.
“Smartphone buyers are turning to online shopping from the safety of their homes during the coronavirus crisis,” said Strategy associate director Boris Metodiev.
“Pure online retailers, such as Amazon of the US, Flipkart of India and JD.com of China, are among the clear winners from the worldwide shift to e-commerce for smartphone purchases. Smartphone vendor online direct sales such as Apple online store would see a solid growth in mature markets too.”
Strategy Analytics director Linda Sui believed that legacy retailers and operators stood to suffer from a loss of handset sales.
“Among the losers will be smartphone retailers with a large number of physical stores, such as Dixons Carphone of the UK, who are seeing sales and profits crushed by the virus-led slump in footfall at shops and malls,” she said.
“Mobile carriers will also be affected negatively, because a large chunk of their smartphone sales happen in-store and rely on face-to-face interactions with sales representatives. Mobile operators who sell smartphones may have to think the unthinkable in coming years and restructure or close many of their offline retail stores.”