Oppo Smartphone Sales Rise Over 750%; Should Xiaomi Be Worried?
Oppo's marketing strategy of primary sponsorships, hefty margins to retailers and buying shelf space is showing results.
After Xiaomi tied with Samsung to become the largest smartphone seller in the country, it is now it’s Chinese counterpart Oppo who has seen 750% rise in sales in India. In doing so, Oppo has overtaken Micromax, the largest domestic mobile maker in the country.
Oppo has now surpassed both homegrown handset maker Micromax and Japan’s biggest electronics firm Sony, in India in terms of smartphone sales. Oppo’s sales have grown multi-fold to more than seven times during the fiscal year 2017.
Chinese Smartphone Supremacy In India
From Xiaomi to Oppo to Motorola and Vivo, the current Indian smartphone market is dominated by Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Most of the top players in the Indian smartphone market are Chinese, with domestic makers being pushed down day by day.
Oppo has focused mainly on their offline distribution and combined it with extensive advertising and promotions for the Indian smartphone market. But, Oppo’s growth has recently slowed down and the company has been cutting down on their investments. Their wide presence has positively impacted Oppo’s sales even with Xiaomi being a constant rival.
Oppo has seen its sales rise to Rs. 7,974.29 crore for the year ended March 2017. This is a rise of 754% increase from Rs 933.74 crore from the last fiscal year 2015-16.
Oppo had entered the Indian market four years back and already it is about the size of Micromax or Sony in the country, in just last year.
Both Oppo and Vivo (under BBK Electronics), have been investing a lot of money in the Indian market since last fiscal year. From advertising to sponsorships and paying retailers a hefty margin to buying retail shelves and branding. Oppo has been spending loads of money to exist and succeed in the volatile Indian smartphone market.
What Helped Drive Oppo Smartphone Sales?
Getting recognisable brand ambassadors, the right kind of advertising, sponsorships for BCCI tournaments, paying retailers hefty margins and outright buying retail shelf space for their handsets collectively, has helped Oppo to achieve visibility and has resulted in the massive jump in their sales volumes.
But, the fiscal growth rate has plunged. The performance in 2016-17 was affected due to demonetisation in November 2016, and the sales had declined till the end of March 2017.
Post March 2017, Oppo’s growth rate has slowed down in the offline stores and retail chains. Oppo is primarily into offline sales. It is constantly trying to break into the Xiaomi-led online market. Oppo has been running constant promotions and discounts on Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce sites to achieve this.
Micromax, India’s largest domestic handset maker had reported a 42% drop in their revenues last year to Rs. 5,613.97 crores. The second-largest domestic handset maker also lost around 30% of their revenues and are down to Rs. 4,364.08 crores this year.
The intense competition from it’s Chinese counterparts has forced domestic makers to the back. Sony India’s revenue fell 11% to Rs. 7,181.84 crores this fiscal year due to downsizing of their smartphone business in India.
Bigger Than Xiaomi Was Last Year; But What’s The Future?
Xiaomi India said that they had a revenue of about Rs. 7,000 crores for calendar year 2016. Oppo has crossed that mark during this fiscal year. Xiaomi has recently tied with Samsung and are aiming to double their sales to $2 billion in India in this calendar year. Xiaomi is yet to post their financial of this year.
Oppo has always targeted the offline audience, primarily with advertising and sponsoring retail outlets to focusing on their branding. In a selfie-crazy nation like India, Oppo has always focused on delivering high-resolution selfie cameras rather than strong specifications.
Oppo doesn’t have any smartphones which offer premium features or even value-for-money. Most of their smartphones are low on specs and high on price, ostensibly to recover their advertising and promotional investments.
Push marketing and promotions have accounted for most of Oppo’s sales. It will be interesting to see how they continue with their marketing and distribution strategies in the future!