Samsung withdraws cashback scheme with Amazon Pay after offline retailers protest
KOLKATA: Samsung India has withdrawn its consumer promotion with Amazon’s digital payment service, Amazon Pay, for smartphones after huge protest from offline cellphone retailers that the offer would mean hooking the customer to Amazon and mandatory registration of retailers in the marketplace which would ultimately hurt their business.
According to two senior industry executives, the Korean giant has removed the Amazon Pay promotion from its backend with immediate effect. The company has also informed its shop floor sales executives to inform about other promotional offers to consumers.
A Samsung spokesperson did not respond as of filing the story.
Samsung had rolled out a 5% and Rs 1,500 cashback offers, depending on the phone models, when the payment was done through Amazon Pay.
The offline retailers under their body, All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), had planned for boycott of Samsung sales from February 11-13, which includes no sales of the handsets to consumers, no business or payment to distributors and other agitation.
The retailers had said that Samsung is the only brand which still has online exclusive smartphones which has hurt their sales and the company was promoting e-commerce business. Another executive said Samsung was evaluating on the online exclusive models as well.
AIMRA president Arvinder Khurana, however, said the association will continue with the Samsung boycott protest till the company does not issue a written communication that they have withdrawn the offer with Amazon Pay and also will not do any online exclusive launches anymore.
“We have received similar written commitments from brands like Oppo and Vivo, while Realme and Xiaomi have already ensured pricing, model and promotion parity between both online and offline channels. Till Samsung ensures this, the protest will continue this week and will be expanded further,” said Khurana.
Offline accounts for around 65% of total smartphone sales in India.
AIMRA had written to Samsung India’s newly appointed MD Ken Kang about their resistance to the Amazon Pay promotion. It had written a letter too Kang on February 1 saying that to avail the cashback promotion with Amazon Pay, consumers will have to download the Amazon app and pay through Amazon Pay, which would eventually hurt the offline business as consumers would get hooked to ecommerce shopping.
AIMRA said that offline retailers, by default, will get registered as Amazon sellers in the marketplace when they sign up for Amazon Pay as a business entity to receive payment for the handsets sold. The association had alleged that Samsung’s employees and distributors were forcing retailers to register as Amazon sellers for Amazon Pay and threatening to stop supplies if they fail to register.