Retail Trends Defining Consumer Electronics in 2019

02/10/19

The face of retail is evolving. The shift to online shopping is strengthened by different consumer pressures and opportunities which is affecting a plethora of brick and mortar retailers. We take an in-depth look at the Consumer Electronics retail market through the lens of a shopper to uncover key insights, technology and some of the best customer experiences in the market.

Shopper Insight

The way consumers shop, especially for electronics, is constantly evolving. Irrespective of whether they shop in-store or online, instant access to data and prices has made a remarkable impact on purchasing behaviour and decision-making.

Mobile devices have enabled us to compare prices, brands, consumer experiences, and products within seconds. 80% of smartphone shoppers who buy consumer electronics have actually changed their choice of either the retailer or brand after searching on Google. The influence of the world’s number one search engine cannot be underestimated.

Image source: iStock

Bricks and mortar stores are still vitally important though. They are essential tools for multi-channel retailers as 47% of consumers usually view products in-store before buying online. So, by seamlessly connecting the physical experience with online convenience, the future looks brighter for consumer electronics retailers.

Innovating the Senses

The right type of technology has the capacity to heighten shoppers’ in-store experience. One example of this is the Samsung 837 store in the heart of New York City. Dubbed as a cultural destination and digital playground, this public space is packed with VR technology that enables visitors to ride rollercoasters, surf waves and even ski in full 4D virtual reality. Samsung 837 is an exhilarating showcase for the brand’s virtual reality technologies and allows its shoppers to join in on the fun. 

Image source: Samsung

Yet technology doesn’t always have to be this showy. Shoppers benefit massively from tech that can help provide them with the confidence they need to make an informed purchase. For example, retailers such as Curry’s PC World have embraced augmented reality with their ‘Point & Place’ app. Users can place any one of 800 big-ticket items in their home using their smartphone, in order to get a better idea of whether the product would fit physically in the space or fit aesthetically within the rest of their home.

Immersive Experience

Experiential retail is another area that has been gaining major traction over recent years. In fact, 52% of millennials said that their spending would be on experience-related purchases.

We loved the ‘The Brilliant Sound Experience’ pop-up by Sonos to celebrate the incorporation of Google Assistant to its smart speakers. This visually stunning pop-up in the heart of SoHo, NYC, had three interactive rooms designed to explore a different element of sound. One explored how your brain processes music and another looked at different elements of a song. The last room concentrated on the relationship between sound and physical space and featured multiple Sonos smart speakers synced to a sea of lightbulbs.

Image source: Design Milk

As customer needs continue to evolve and change, retailers have had no choice but to adapt to this change of pace. Consumer electronic brands have aligned with the seismic shift towards online shopping while competing with the likes of Amazon by bringing experiential retail and technology to the forefront of their customer experience.

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