CEA Research Summit: CE, Retailing, Tablet PC Survey Stats
Consumer electronics industry analysts and media were treated Thursday to a comprehensive statistical overview designed to clarify growth areas in consumer technologies and retailing for 2011.
Leading off the CEA Research Summit at New York City's Samsung Experience Center, CEA’s chief economist and director of research, Shawn DuBravac, reprised key points from his Wednesday presentation to press members attending the CEA LineShows. (A full report may be found by clicking on the “Related” news link within this article.) He also provided some perspective on the effects of the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami on CE production, saying that earlier, pessimistic views on long-lasting effects were so far unfounded. “There’s not a lot of finished product production from that area of Japan,” and that the effects of disrupted component and semiconductor manufacture would take a while to work its way through to the supply chain. “These issues are a July-August story, not a March-April story,” he added, saying that any short-term needs had been handled from factories outside Japan taking up the slack.
Steven Koenig, CEA director of industry analysis, and Eric Voyer, vice president of TraQline, co-presented a report on retail trends. Some highlights:
• More than half of all cellphones currently owned are smartphones (52 percent).
• In the four quarters ending with Q1 2011, 62 percent of people shopped online for products, but only 30 percent actually bought products online. “Consumers are using technology to purchase technology,” observed Koenig of the trend.
• Price erosion in TV is much more dramatic in mid-range screen sizes (26 to 53 inches).
• In the four quarters ending with Q1 2011, 60 percent of flat panels were bought by households with annual incomes below $75,000.
• 64 percent of those surveyed have experienced 3D technology firsthand while 19 percent have not, while only five to seven percent of TVs sold are 3D. “There’s lot of opportunity there,” said Voyer.
• Consumers who are more highly price-sensitive will tend to spend less.
• Customers are becoming more interested in the “green” aspects of CE; this could ultimately help to sway purchasing behaviors.
• The way for retailers to cope with the trend of consumers collecting in-store retail competitive pricing information is to embrace consumers’ empowerment, get onboard with in-store connectivity to enable demonstration, and create an exciting, open salesfloor.
• Amazon.com is winning more purchase dollars of Best Buy and Walmart CE shoppers. “Dealers need to be aware of the cross-shop,” said Voyer, and need to build an online presence beyond a web site, employing social media and videos, added Koenig.