After forcing smartphone makers Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Samsung and Realme to end deep discounting on products sold online, offline mobile phone retailers groups have managed to put an end to the partnership between Samsung and Amazon Pay as well.
The South Korean electronics giant had a promotion running with digital payments platform Amazon Pay, under which, customers received a 5% discount and further cashbacks through Amazon Pay. The cashback policies depended on the smartphone customers were buying, with Samsung being one of the preferred brands.
As per an ET report, Samsung has rolled back the offer with immediate effect, after retailers group All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) started protesting against such discounts. The association has decided to boycott Samsung’s sales from February 11 to 13. This meant that the offline retailers would not sell any Samsung handset to consumers, or make any business payments to distributors.
The retailers also specified that Samsung is the only smartphone brand that still sells certain models exclusively online, which affects the business of small retailers.
Considering that Samsung is looking to balance its sales between online and offline channels for maximised revenue, it served the company’s interests to manage the expectations of offline retails. Reportedly, Samsung asked shop floor executives to inform users about other promotional offers besides discounts. However, AIMRA has decided to continue protesting unless it receives a written communication from Samsung confirming that the deal has been called off. Also, mobile retailers also want Samsung to stop launching products exclusively for ecommerce websites.
AIMRA had urged major smartphone manufacturers to control deep discounting on their products listed on ecommerce marketplaces Amazon and Flipkart. Retailers also warned that big brands might boycott selling their products unless the online price is controlled.
AIMRA wrote its first letter to Xiaomi, Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo and Realme in December 2019. To this, the association received a response from Oppo, Vivo and Realme. The companies assured the body that their products would be sold at the same price and time across channels whether it is online and offline stores. It’s to be noted that Oppo, Vivo, Realme and OnePlus are owned by the same company, China’s BBK Electronics.
In January 2020, the mobile retailers had once again written to premium smartphone makers Samsung and OnePlus, as well as Xiaomi, the top brand by market share in India. Xiaomi and Samsung replied to assure AIMRA that its demands would be met.