Consumer electronics has always been a flag bearer for eCommerce giants regarding the growth and the sheer numbers that it brings in. The pandemic has further fueled the growth of this segment in more ways than one. So, what is the demand like, and which categories are driving this growth? We caught up with Mr Akshay Ahuja, Category Leader - Consumer Electronics at Amazon India, to get his perspective (and some numbers) on the explosive growth that Amazon India has seen in the consumer electronics space.
Digit: What kind of growth (in %) has Amazon seen across the CEPC (consumer electronics and personal computing) category over the last 12 months? What do you think are the drivers of growth?
Amazon: Consumer Electronics & Personal Computing has been one of the fastest-growing categories on Amazon.in. Over the last year, we have seen close to 1.6X growth Y-O-Y; this is not just driven by metros but also Tier II & III cities. Demand in Tier II & III cities is growing close to close to 1.8X Y-O-Y. We have seen an uptake in the growth of Work from home and School from home products and Gaming devices.
Digit: Where has the growth come from as far as consumer demographics and repeat vs first time buyer is concerned?
Amazon: With the ongoing trend of working/studying from home, there has been a demand for good performing laptops, the latest 11th gen in core i3, core i5 and gaming laptops among customers to fulfil their needs. The laptop has remained a popular product amongst customers with 1.7X growth Y-o-Y on Amazon.in.
We are also seeing strong growth in new customer acquisition for CEPC, with non-metro cities contributing to 86% of the new customers, and more than 50% of these new customers choose headphones as their first purchase on the marketplace.
Digit: Do you see this as a temporary growth triggered by the lockdown? Will the growth sustain (and continue the trend?) once the offline market opens up and returns to normalcy?
Amazon: What we have learned from the COVID-19 crisis is how important a role Amazon and e-commerce can play – for our customers as well as for small businesses & the economy. We did see a lot of customers shop online, not just in tier I & II cities but also in smaller towns. Today, 65% of customer orders and over 85% of new customers on Amazon.in are from tier 2 and below geographies. Customers across nearly 100% of India’s serviceable pin codes shop with us.
Amazon’s investments in the 3Vs – voice, video and vernacular – is likely to see the next 200-300 million customers benefit from e-commerce in India’s tier 2/3 cities. Its three key learnings from these markets in recent years have been customer comfort in shopping in regional languages, customer preference for voice over typed responses, and for hearing product narratives over reading them online.
Digit: The global chip shortage and the related stock issues. What kind of impact has that caused for Amazon.in?
Amazon: We cannot comment on the issues as we are a marketplace. However, we closely work with brands and our selling partners to offer a seamless shopping experience to customers.
Digit: What are the new and emerging categories in the CEPC segment that Amazon is betting big on?
Amazon: The sellers on Amazon.in have seen high demand in categories such as work-from-home & online schooling enablers like laptops/ printers seeing a 1.6X growth and emerging categories such as smartwatches/security cameras seeing a higher growth.
Digit: How is the consumer spending sentiment in the industry this festive year as compared to the last one?
Amazon: At Amazon.in, our utmost priority remains to always ensure the safety and wellbeing of our customers, employees, seller and ecosystem partners. Together with thousands of small & medium business and brand partners, we continue to offer our customers the widest selection, convenience, and fast delivery. We are humbled by how millions of Indian customers have made us a part of their daily lives. Also, customers continue to believe that online shopping is the safest way to shop which has been reflecting in all the recent events of Amazon like the Prime Day 2021, Great Freedom Festival, Rakhi Store, Onam store and so on.
This festive season is not a normal one for reasons we all know, and our success metric would be focused on how we can make our sellers successful. Customers can look forward to shopping from a wide selection of products across categories like Home & Kitchen, Fashion & Beauty, Electronics, Appliances and Smartphones, Grocery essentials and more from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Digit: We’ve seen publisher and influencer activations in the CEPC category; even Digit is an affiliate partner for some of them. How has that helped Amazon?
Amazon: Our focus is to provide customers with the widest selection, convenience, fast delivery and value. We want to reach our customers through every platform and help them make an informed purchase. These days, influencers are one of the mediums to reach customers and educate them about the availability of products and offers.
Today, brands are increasingly depending on consistent, high-quality content to connect with their target audiences and educate them about their offering. If you look at Amazon, we realized that customers are looking to us to help them make the right purchase decision. We started with Buying Guides on Amazon.in and soon built several avenues such as Amazon Mobile Insider – a section that is dedicated to content around mobile phones. From reviews to decoding complicated tech specs, Amazon Mobile Insider carries content from reviewers & consumer tech experts, and we’ve just scratched the surface there. We would love for more content creators to share their expertise with customers on Amazon.in.
We are humbled to have Digit as an affiliate partner. It is one of the largest online technology media portals that cater to the largest community of tech buyers, users, and enthusiasts in India. We are able to cater to our customers in a more efficient way with Digit and we look forward to creating a rewarding working journey together.