Online retail to count 28% of global smartphone sales in 2020

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Boston, USA: Online retail channels will count for 28% of all smartphones sold worldwide in 2020, up from 24% in 2019. According to Strategy Analytics’ new forecast report on online retail of smartphones.

Coronavirus is having a major impact on the distribution and sales of smartphones. With local quarantines and social distancing forcing consumers to change their shopping habits and behavior.

The global virus pandemic is rewriting the rulebook of smartphone sales, as ever more businesses shift online retail.

“We forecast online retail channels to account for a record 28 percent of all smartphones sold worldwide in 2020, jumping from 24 percent share in 2019. Over 1 in 4 of all smartphones globally is now sold online,” said Boris Metodiev, Associate Director – Strategy Analytics.

Smartphone buyers are turning to online shopping from the safety of their homes during the coronavirus crisis.

“Pure online retailers, such as Amazon of the US, Flipkart of India and of China, are among the clear winners from the worldwide shift to e-commerce for smartphone purchases,” added Metodiev.

Smartphone vendor online direct sales such as Apple online store would see a solid growth in mature markets too.

“Smartphone retailers with a large number of physical stores, such as UK’s Dixons Carphone will be among the losers. They are seeing sales and profits crushed by the virus-led slump in footfall at shops and malls,” said Linda Sui, Director – Strategy Analytics.

Mobile carriers like AT&T in the US or Sweden’s Telia 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,” concluded Sui.

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