Even as some consumer electronics categories struggle, the accessories market continues to grow. Emerging technologies and consumer demand may shape what’s in and what’s out, but the market is constantly evolving and adjusting. In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast from July 2012, the Consumer Electronics Association predicts revenue growth of two percent this year over 2011, with CE accessories becoming a $9 billion market by the end of this year.
Accessories span the entire spectrum of the CE universe. From smartphones, tablets, and PCs with embedded wireless technology, to digital cameras to state of the art home theater systems, accessories are a vital part of the functionality of these CE products. Besides their practicality, accessories give consumers the ability to personalize their favorite devices. A smartphone is a smartphone. But put that smartphone in a custom case and it can become a social signal to how you want to be perceived.
Our devices are already an extension of our arms and minds. Coupled with accessories, they become showcases of our personality and individuality. Retailers and manufacturers meet the needs of consumers by creating products that are not only useful but also relevant to buyers’ lifestyles.
CEA’s Accessories Division advocates for accessory product sales, consumer education, and the development of industry standards to promote growth, innovation and compatibility for CE accessories. By working together as accessories retailers and manufacturers, we can achieve this objective. Through consumer research, we strive to determine the motives behind consumer purchases, product returns and consumer satisfaction. Using research, the division drives the development of consumer education programs, empowering the division to offer guidance and education to manufacturers and retailers across the CE landscape.
The Accessories Division recently explored the relationship between social media and accessories, and published their findings in a report titled How Social Media Influences Purchase Decisions of Consumer Electronics and Accessories (February 2012).
In the last few years, social networking websites have become an important component of e-commerce. Because of their popularity, it’s important to understand how they affect buyers in the CE industry, especially for accessories. How should retailers and manufacturers market a product in the social media landscape? Which users should be targeted? How should companies engage these users?
The research explores consumers’ overall social media habits as well as the role of social media and consumer attitudes about the decision to buy CE products. The findings are relevant to anyone seeking a better understanding of the impact of social media on consumer behavior within the CE industry.
CEA’s Accessories Division is proud to work with Dealerscope 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 Accessories Division programs or initiatives, please visit www.CE.org. l
George Stepancich is CEO and founder of Invisionate, and chair of CEA’s