Registering better than expected sales and growth this festive season, companies have finally started recouping from the economic turmoil of COVID-19. With the festive sales brining in some respite, the overall outlook for the remaining year isn't so bleak anymore.
With over 13 million devices sold, Xiaomi India has registered the highest ever festive sales since it began its operations in the country. Xiaomi had introduced a wide selection of products and coupled it up with offers and initiatives like the Mi Smart Upgrade to meet our consumers' requirements. "The festive season is a significant period for us at Mi India from the sales perspective. Backed by our attractive offers and schemes, the response from our consumers and Mi fans continues to be great and we expect to end this year on a great note," says Raghu Reddy, Chief Business Officer, Xiaomi India. Overall, the company has seen a 15 - 20 per cent unprecedented growth over last year for the Diwali sales and serviced over 17,000 pin codes.
In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and reduced purchasing power, festive season sales have been very encouraging for consumer electronics segment. With consumers restricted at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased uptake in smartphones, televisions and audio devices. Echoing the sentiment, Madhav Seth, Vice President, Realme and CEO, Realme India and Europe says, "We have witnessed an increased demand and registered extensive sales during the festive period. While these helped revive sales, stocks of some products weren't enough to meet the high demand." Festive sales for Realme was 20 per cent more than what the company had anticipated. Yet it will take some time to make up for the losses incurred during the lockdown.
Even though initially the sales were disrupted due to shortage of components followed by the lockdown; festive sales, offers and aggressive pricing across the offline and online channel had helped brands register a fruitful festive season. "Festive season saw huge demand for online sales. There was pent up demand for TV due to lockdown. Customers had been waiting for discounts and offers," says Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO, Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd, a Kodak brand licensee.
Demand for smartphones, tablets and laptops were primarily fuelled due to the work and education at home. However, consumers are buying televisions and audio devices for an engaging entertainment experience at home. While the 32inch and 43inch smart TVs emerged as the best-selling SKUs, there has been an increased demand for large screen 4k TVs (50-inch and upwards) and audio devices. "we've also seen a rising trend wherein consumers are bundling the smart speaker with TVs and smartphones while shopping during the festive period," adds Reddy.
Companies have leveraged the sudden upsurge in audio equipment by introduced wireless earbuds, speakers and even affordable home theatre systems. For instance, sales for True Wireless earphones and 2.1 convertible soundbars, an exclusive from Philips audio range, has picked up in the last few months. Show Stopper (100 W), Herculean Pro (200 W) and Party Rocker were some of the best-selling models for ZOOOK, which helped register good numbers on online as well as offline platforms. Xiaomi launched the Mi Smart Speaker in October, which has seen a fast uptake among consumers.
Turning out a boom for some brands, audio company NOISE claims to have witnessed a 6-8x jump in BAU sales during the festive days. "Fortunately, we being an online brand have been able to recover the lost sales little earlier than the start of festive season sales and having seen a major spike during the season, we are on the track to achieve our targets," says Gaurav Khatri, Co-founder, of the audio accessory brand NOISE.
Even Achin Gupta, Country Head - India at ZOOOK, avers, "While it is true that the pandemic and the lockdown hampered the sales significantly, we are now confident that we will definitely achieve the target figures we had set for the year." Gupta hopes of registering a surplus vis-a-vis the targets.
The COVID-19 situation has caused unprecedented challenges in India as well as globally. "Sales were affected from March to August. Having said that, the rise in demand has been very encouraging post-August this year and the festive season has brought along a positive upside to the sales and we expect pent up demand to continue till end of this year," adds Shailesh Prabhu, Country Head, TPV Technology India Pvt. Ltd., the brand licensee for Philips TVs in India. The company witnessed a growth of 40 per cent over last year's festive season.
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