Accessories: The Backbone of the CE Industry
As we approach the halfway point of 2013, we have seen our country undergo a particularly tumultuous time economically and politically. However, the consumer electronics industry is a shining example of how innovation and technological advancement can help revive our economy and positively impact lives.
In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast from the Consumer Electronics Association, total CE industry revenues in 2012 reached $204 billion, up 4.7 percent from 2011’s $195 billion.
While certain CE sectors struggle and others advance, the accessories market has been fortunate to experience continued revenue growth. Accessories accounted for about 10 percent of 2012’s total CE revenue. CE accessories sales are driven mainly by emerging technologies. But affordable prices, expansive distribution channels and greater connectivity have also contributed to the success of this market in recent years.
So, what products are driving CE accessories growth? One major category in the last year has been the PC accessories market, tied to the explosion of tablets, which represented 25 percent of total CE accessories revenue in 2012. While cleaning and maintenance products continue to make contributions to the division, bags and cases for tablets and notebooks are projected to deliver double-digit revenue growth through 2016. Additionally, wireless phone accessories added $1.7 billion to the category in 2012.
Consumers are drawn to CE accessories because they provide personalization and increase the functionality of their devices. Accessories are truly made for consumers’ lifestyles. The products are as different as the customers themselves, and niche markets are easy to find for retailers and manufacturers. If there’s a desire to improve a core CE device or customize it, chances are there is an accessory available. Furthermore, accessories touch nearly every CE category, from smartphones and wireless technologies to digital cameras and even home theaters.
If we want the CE industry to continue to be an example for other industries to follow, we must provide consumers with the devices that they desire and the products that will improve their lives. Opportunities in the accessories landscape are endless. However, as retailers and manufacturers, we must not accept the status quo and, instead, look at future CE trends to develop our products and advance the industry.
In order to personally oversee the future of the CE accessories industry, I am a leader in CEA’s Accessories Division. In this role, I am continually amazed by the shared dedication and commitment of all our board members to the industry. The division advocates for accessory product sales, consumer education, and the development of industry standards to promote growth, innovation and compatibility for CE accessories. By bringing in members from retailers and manufacturers, both large and small, we work together as to achieve this objective. Armed with the latest market research, we strive to determine the motivations behind consumer purchases, product returns and consumer satisfaction. Based on this research, the division also drives the development of consumer education programs, allowing the division to offer leadership and education to manufacturers and retailers across the entire CE landscape.
CEA is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $209 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES—The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services.
CEA’s Accessories Division is thrilled to work with Dealerscope once again on this special accessories issue. What follows are highlights from CEA research and insights from our analysts and members on industry trends. We hope this will provide you with valuable guidance in developing, planning and growing your accessories business.
For more information on CEA and the Accessories Division programs or initiatives, please visit CE.org. Follow me on twitter @gstepancich. l