Jan 29/20NEWS

The changing face of consumer electronics

As one of the most competitive and fastest growing retail categories, consumer electronics (CE) is constantly evolving. Thanks to buying trends like showrooming – visiting a shop to see a product before buying it online (and often at a lower price) – and brick-and-mortar consolidation, CE sales are rapidly shifting online.

According to Edge by Ascential, CE covers a range of key segments: Large household appliances (white goods), smaller, portable household appliances (brown goods), electronics (entertainment devices such as laptops, cameras and mobiles), and office supplies.

To date, APAC has the biggest CE spend and will grow the fastest between now and 2024. The Middle East and Africa will see the second-fastest CE growth, bringing exciting new opportunities for both retailers and brands to gain momentum in this region. Amazon, for example, is working closely with Chinese manufacturers to double the production rate of their AirPods Pro wireless earphones. Nintendo is partnering with Tencent Holdings to sell their Switch gaming console in China – a market they previously failed in. 

In addition, the impact of mass merchandise retailers has resulted in the CE category not only shifting online but also at a double-digit rate with 50% of the category’s chain retail sales occurring through ecommerce. Looking ahead, CE will be disproportionately disrupted by ecommerce – global technology brands will have to relook at what they are offering in-store and focus on online execution to compete with mass merchandise retailers like Amazon. These larger ecommerce players will have a massive impact on the CE category over the next five years, opening up new routes to consumers for electronics suppliers and expanding their influence online.

Technology has completely shifted consumer shopping behaviour with many CE shoppers now doing product research across channels and devices. To win in in this fast-paced, constantly evolving category, CE brands will have to leverage their technical expertise, using technology to support customer education and influence the decision-making process. At the same time, suppliers will need to prepare agile supply chains that satisfy demanding fulfilment timescales.

Ultimately, CE retailers worldwide will need to make a compelling argument to entice (and retain) today’s digitally-savvy consumer, developing enhanced in-store CE offers that add value to the overall ecommerce experience.



To find out more about Smollan ecommerce solutions please contact Justin Dennis: Justin.Dennis@smollan.com