The overall category sales of smartphones in terms of units for offline retail (point-of-sales) grew by 4 percent whereas online retail sales grew by 29 percent during YTD Oct 2021 compared to 2020. During the same period, online channel contribution for the smartphone market accounted for 40 percent in terms of sales units and 41 percent in terms of sales value vs 35 percent in 2020. This reflects the rising consumer trust and digitalization of purchase journeys fueling the online retail contribution to overall category sales of smartphones.
Looking at the price trends, GfK Market Intelligence point-of-sales data outlined an increase of sales units by 56 percent for premium smartphones ranging between Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000. Sales also went up for smartphones priced above Rs 40,000 by 41 percent, which underlines the increasing demand for premium products in the Indian smartphone market.
Kartik Vasudevan, Director – Sales, GfKIndia, says, “As markets have moved from ‘want’ to ‘need’ norm, it is not only about the product/ device but consumer ‘Lifestyle’. Consumers turned to tech to continue working and learning while staying at home and this has triggered some structural shift in buying behavior. As @home norm continues, consumers are keen to invest in products which promise quality and longevity.”
GfK insights also reveal the geographical penetration of the smartphone market. The overall sales for smartphones in Tier V and above representing <50k population registered 11 percent volume growth in offline retail during YTD Oct 2021/ 2020, followed by a 7 percent increase in Tier III cities.
“Smartphone market is still dominated by less than Rs 15,000 price segment, however, there has been an increase in sales of premium products as mobile phones have essentially become first digital touchpoint or device to access the internet. For some consumers, it is their first computer in a way and with 5G paving its way, this trend might accelerate the price push further,” he further added.
There is cautious optimism in the market which will be governed by the interplay of domestic manufacturing, imports, transportation cost, and raw material prices.
In 2017, The Organic World (TOW), sprouted as the green heart of Nimida Group in Bengaluru, sowing the seeds of sustainability to cultivate positive change in our way of life. Founded by Gaurav Manchanda, Director, The Organic World, this unique brand strives to offer a holistic range of organic and natural products. From pesticide-free fruits and vegetables to chemical-free homecare products, TOW provides consumers with over 3000 choices to embrace a healthier, cleaner, and more sustainable lifestyle.
Gaurav, during his return to India from the United States in 2016, identified a gap in the market for healthy and organic food options. Motivated by a personal quest for such products and a desire to offer the same to a wider audience, The Organic World was born in 2017. Starting with the launch of its first store in JP Nagar, Bengaluru, TOW quickly expanded. Today it has 15 stores across Bengaluru, and is exploring the franchise model and the plan is to steadily expand TOW’s footprint across South India.
“Our journey is only getting started. We plan to expand up to 100 stores over the next 18 months, and exploring cities like Chennai, Pune, and more,” he says.
TOW positions itself as a multi-brand retailer, hosting products that are not only organic but also differentiated, providing better value to customers as they journey towards a healthier lifestyle. The stores boasts a comprehensive product range, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, staples, personal care items, and home care products. The presentation of these stores is world-class, ensuring a unique and engaging shopping experience.
Gaurav sheds light on TOW's commitment to responsible retailing, focusing on three core pillars: authenticity, accessibility, and affordability. The company enforces a rigorous vetting process for products, maintaining transparency by publicly listing 25 blacklisted ingredients and chemicals not allowed on their shelves. This disruptive approach challenges the industry to prioritize healthier and sustainable products. TOW has created a strict ‘Not In Our Aisle’ list – a list of chemicals and harmful ingredients that do not find a spot on its store shelves, despite their industry popularity. This includes ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener, found in soda, juice, candy, breakfast cereals and packaged snacks; artificial flavorings/colors found in most packaged foods; Tertiary Butylhydroquinine (TBHQ), an antioxidant found in biscuits, microwave popcorn, butter substitutes and chicken nuggets; parabens, sulfates and phthalates found in personal and beauty care products; and a range of acids and toxins found in home cleaning essentials, to name some.
“When you step into our store, it's an interesting and world-class experience. We strive to be a full basket retailer, so you can complete your shopping journey within our stores. Now we have about 3000 SKUs on our shelves, and we continue to introduce interesting categories and products,” explains Gaurav.
The brand’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its product offerings. It has introduced a zero-waste section in select stores, encouraging customers to bring their own containers for grains and nuts. The company is conscious of consumer preferences, with a dedicated vegan category accounting for a significant portion of sales. TOW's initiatives have not only resonated with environmentally conscious consumers but also positively impacted its revenue.
The Organic World has embraced a tech-driven approach to bridge the online and offline shopping experience seamlessly. Initially partnering with tech enablers, TOW later developed its in-house tech stack, comprising apps, websites, and delivery mechanisms. This move provides the company with more control over data, enabling better insights into consumer behavior.
Acknowledging the challenges in the grocery and organic sector, Gaurav emphasizes the importance of trust in the brand and scale to stay competitive. The company strives to deliver within a two to four-hour time slot, and in a bid to make its last-mile delivery sustainable, TOW is exploring the use of electric vehicles.
In a market flooded with products labeled as organic, The Organic World sets itself apart through a combination of the 3As. The brand's strong category play, especially in emerging trends like veganism, further distinguishes it from competitors. The company's commitment to scale, transparent pricing, and a variety of unique products solidifies its position as a leading player in the organic and healthy foods sector.
“We work closely with farmers and a network of farmers under the brand Happy Harvest Farms. They are certified and organic. Additionally, we do our own checks internally, and based on these checks we believe that we are able to provide an authentic experience to the discerning consumer,” Gaurav asserts.
He is optimistic about the future, fueled by the growing awareness of health-conscious consumers. With plans to expand its store network and franchise model, TOW aims to be a dominant player in the Indian organic market. The brand envisions not only leading in the organic sector but also influencing responsible retailing practices across the broader retail industry.
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