Consumers often crave new and improved hardware because it lets them do more, experience more, and raise the quality of their life through entertainment, leisure, community interactions, and family time. That’s precisely why consumer electronics is the most popular shopping category, with an average revenue per user exceeding $300. Marketplace founders can take advantage of this thriving and innovation-driven industry by catering to their chosen niche and cross-category customer needs.
The consumer electronic market
The global eCommerce electronics market is expected to reach USD 856.4 billion by 2028, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2%. On the US market, the CAGR is even higher at 4.9%. Replacement purchases are the main drive behind of sales in North America. In addition, government efforts to promote energy-efficient products throughout the United States are expected to increase the sales of such devices. These factors are expected to boost the industry's growth in this area.
These CAGR values might not seem impressive compared to other industries, like beauty or baby and kids products. However, the revenue from eCommerce sales of computers and consumer electronics exceeds that of any other category and is responsible for 22% of the total retail eCommerce sales in the US. Furthermore, this category's average revenue per user (ARPU) amounts to as much as 317.10 USD.
Consumer electronics sales drivers
The growing demand for electronics products sold online can be attributed to a few major factors:
- New technological developments
Product innovation has been playing a dynamic role in boosting market growth over the last few years. On the one hand, new devices are emerging that didn't even exist a few years ago (fitness bracelets, and VR headsets, to name a few). On the other hand, existing devices are constantly being developed and improved; for example, a new iPhone comes out every year.
- Rising internet penetration and popularity of online shopping
This works both ways. The growing popularity of online shopping among consumers owing to the rising use of smartphones propels market growth. On the other hand, shopping for electronic merchandise has become more convenient and easier thanks to the increasing internet penetration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to stay home, which has increased the need for consumer electronics such as laptops, tablets, and others necessary for establishing a home office.
- Growing demand for household appliances in developing countries
The growing population in those countries, especially the rise in the number of nuclear families and improving living standards, will spur the demand for home appliances.
- Growing demand for consumer electronics in developed countries
The growth of this regional market can be attributed to the increased demand for consumer electronics such as wearables, and smart devices, replacement sales of smartphones and laptops, and a trend of replacing electronic appliances with more eco-friendly ones.
Top electronics product categories
To ensure that your consumer electronics marketplace is successful, you should first find your perfect niche. Some of the most popular consumer electronics product categories include:
- Smartphones and tablets
- Laptops and computers
- TVs and home theater systems
- Cameras and drones
- Wearables and smartwatches
- Car audio and navigation systems
- Home appliances
By offering various products in these popular categories, you'll be able to attract customers interested in a particular type of consumer electronics and not only those simply looking for the best deals. In addition, you can also consider adding adjacent product categories like furniture, fashion, or home decor to your consumer electronics marketplace. Doing so will give shoppers more incentive to visit and explore your website by broadening your product assortment with complimentary items that are not strictly electronics.
Consumer electronics market trends
Sustainable actions taken by electronics eCommerce brands include reducing deadstock and the environmental impact of their packaging, implementing sustainable shipping options, offsetting carbon, and following circular practices.
Increased awareness of sustainable development and eco-friendly alternatives has led many manufacturers to switch to organic electronics, which are cost-effective, lightweight, and consume less power. Applying organic materials to electronic devices decreases the amount of harmful and scarce raw materials required.
The trend of miniaturization is allowing electronic components to be used in novel ways while maintaining speed, reliability, and efficiency. This process enables manufacturers to cram more features into a single component.
The application of artificial intelligence (AI) is growing at an exponential rate in consumer electronics. AI can be used for tasks such as image recognition, pattern detection, and speech recognition. In the near future, consumer electronics will become even more integrated with AI as manufacturers continue to find new ways to utilize this technology.
Internet of Things and wearables
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity, enabling these objects to connect and exchange data.
Wearables are electronic devices that are worn on the body. They are often connected to the internet and can collect and share data about the wearer’s activity, health, and location.
These technologies are driving innovation in areas such as product design, manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics.
Appliances equipped with voice assistance, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity are being adopted due to higher user convenience. People are looking for an all-in-one solution that can control various home appliances with a single voice command or touchscreen. A recent study by Grand View Research shows that the global connected home market size is expected to grow from USD 54.97 billion in 2020 to USD 151.26 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 16.0%.
Spending on connected health-monitoring devices grew 73% during 2020 to $632 million and 34% during 2021 to $845 million. Currently, it is growing at a rate of 14% per year, on the way to reaching $1.25 billion by the end of 2024.
Cross-category shopping opportunities
Growth is a key strategic element for all eCommerce brands, which means they are constantly looking for expansion possibilities. Adjacencies are growth opportunities in new business areas, such as a new geographic market, a new distribution channel, or expanding the commodity assortment with complementary products.
One way of differentiating your electronics marketplace is by expanding its assortment to adjacent categories like furniture, fashion, and other consumer durables or even digital products. This will help draw in customers who are looking for a one-stop shop where they can find everything that they need to solve a particular problem. It will also make the buying process easier and give them value for their money.
When expanding the assortment to adjacent categories, it is important to consider a few things:
- The customer needs and wants: What are they looking for besides the electronic devices?
- The competitive landscape: Who else is selling these products, and in what configurations?
- Product mix and margin: What is the right mix of products to offer, and at what price point?
Examples of adjacencies opportunities for electronic marketplace business owners:
Electronics & Home and Garden products
- An entire gaming setup for the home - a computer, keyboard, mouse, ergonomic desk and chair, lighting
- Everything for a relaxation corner - TV, sound system, electric fireplace heater, leisure furniture set, dimmed lighting
- An entire home office setup - computer device and peripherals, a comfortable desk, chair, drawers, and a coffee machine
- Garden office essentials (yes, it's a thing!)
Electronics & Fashion
Examples of fashion products that can be sold together with computer hardware and other electronic devices:
- Gaming merchandise (T-shirt, hoodies, hats, and accessories with game characters)
- Trendy accessories for electronic devices (i.e. designer phone and laptop cases or smartwatch bands)
- Trendy glasses that protect from blue light
Electronics & Baby and Kids products
Examples of electronic devices paired with traditional goods:
- Tracking device & diapers
- Lumi by Pampers is a system that lets you track your baby's every move. By placing a sensor on the outside of a Lumi diaper, the app will be able to tell when the diaper is wet and monitor your baby's sleep and movements throughout the day. With this data, the app can help you optimize feeding times, suggest ideal bedtimes and naptimes, and alert you of any potential issues. The purchase price comes with high-resolution video monitor, diapers, and an activity sensor.
- iPad + wooden letters
- The wooden letters, numbers, and shapes pair with your iPad and Marbotic app for preschool educational play. The kits are designed for ages 3 years+ and can also be used in schools.
Electronics & Beauty
Combine beauty electronic devices like hairdryers, epilators, micro needling, massage devices, etc., with cosmetics to offer your customers everything they need for a full facial, hair, or body treatment. Help them create their own home spa.
Electronics & Wellness
Offer bundles that will enable your customers to create a complete health routine fit for their needs, such as:
- Fitness bracelets and watches sold together with matching sets of sportswear like running shoes, tank tops, yoga pants, etc.
- Lumie’s Halo is a light therapy lamp with different modes to help combat certain struggles people often have during winter. The first mode, ‘Day Mode’, helps with productivity and energy by using warm-white LEDs. The second, ‘Evening Mode’, uses cool-white LEDs to create a calm environment before sleep. This could be paired with supplements and vitamins that also help boost one's energy during the winter.
- Kokoon's Relax Headphones are designed to help you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night with a mix of soundscapes, meditations, CBT practices, and more. Specialist sleep data also monitors your sleep patterns to create personalized advice to get the best possible night's rest. They could be sold together with other sleep-enhancing products like CBD oils or melatonin strips.
Electronics & Travel
Offer your customers complete travel sets, be it for backpackers, digital nomads, or families traveling with kids. For example:
- A laptop, a power bank, and a laptop backpack
- Travel-size appliances such as hair dryers and irons sold together with cabin luggage
- Kids traveling sets, such as a ride-on suitcase, a tablet for watching cartoons on the plane, and headphones suitable for children
Electronics & Digital Products
You can also pair electronic devices with digital products that are of interest to specific target audiences. For example:
- A Kindle or other e-reader with a set of ebooks covering a variety of topics suitable to the target niche (e.g. crime fiction, fantasy, romance, or self-development books)
- A laptop or tablet with an online course that's relevant to the target audience (e.g. graphic design or video editing)
- A tablet with kid's movies or games
- A sports smartwatch with music tracks for different kinds of workouts
How to launch a successful electronics marketplace business
Online marketplaces can offer their customers more value than traditional retailers or existing online platforms. Here's how to make your electronics marketplace a success:
- Understand the consumer electronics industry and trends: This will help you identify opportunities and make better decisions for your business.
- Research your target market and select your niche: Furthermore, Vendo will give you consumer insights and allow you to maintain engagement with your consumers.
- Be up to date with technology - find innovative products that are not widely available such as baby diapers with sensors.
- Consider adding adjacent product categories such as furniture, fashion or wellness, etc., and combine items into sets, kits, or bundles. Customers often have difficulty knowing which products to pair together, so by bundling items, you can make their lives easier and increase sales.
- Add Wishlists to let customers save the products and compare their parameters before deciding which one to purchase.