Consumerscope: Kids, Netbooks and Interactive TV Make a Good Retail Fit
Today's children are exposed to a wide array of technologies that help them learn, communicate and have fun. The trick in retail is to focus on the product categories that will drive the most sales, profits and incremental business. Two of those categories are netbooks and interactive TV.
Netbooks - Kid Sized Computers
According to CEA's "12th Annual CE Ownership and Market Potential" report, 12 percent of U.S. households own at least one netbook. About 42 percent of U.S. households anticipate buying a netbook in the future, with 10 percent planning to buy one this year. CEA expects household penetration to reach 50% by 2013.
Sales will be driven by many factors. One is the product's appeal to youth. According to CEA's "Eye on Emerging Technology: Netbooks Analysis Brief," more than one in three (37 percent) of U.S. adults believe netbooks make a good first computer for kids. There are several reasons to support this. First, netbooks are small and lightweight (generally 2-3 pounds) enabling kids to use them at home or carry in a backpack. Second, they have the basic computing functionality to fulfill the needs of kids. Third, they generally cost less than laptops and desktops, with an average wholesale price of $337 (compared to an AWP of $681 for laptops and $557 for desktops). Netbooks provide parents with an affordable option to help their children build computing skills essential to their success in today's world. Plus, it's not quite as painful if they are lost or damaged. In fact, child-themed versions of netbooks are colorful, rugged and are emerging as alternatives to traditional netbooks.
Looking at future purchase expectations, households with children under the age of 18 will be more likely to adopt netbooks. Forty-nine percent of U.S. households with children expect to own a netbook (and 13 perecent planning a purchase in 2010). This compares to 37 percent of U.S. households without children planning to ever purchase and just 7 percent planning a purchase over the next year.