While you may already be familiar with the potential for accessories sales in retail, the rate at which these add-ons can establish or grow online sales may come as a surprise. eBay, for example, is seeing some accessories sales surpass their parent devices: MP3 player accessories are growing at three times the rate of MP3 players, while cell phone cases and pouches are growing at nearly twice the rate of cell phones.
The shelf-space constraints of traditional retailers provide online e-tailers a clear advantage, enabling them to address a broader range of consumers with greater breadth and depth of products. Since consumer choices in accessories range in quality, price and even personal style, the ability to add more inventory choices to the shelf without substantial investment is key to success in this arena.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) conducted a consumer behavior study in 2005 indicating that 67 percent of consumers have purchased accessories after they’ve had a chance to use and get a feel for the product. Often this is when a consumer will look online to find the personalization or enhancement he or she is looking for.