State of Consumer Electronics Industry H1, 2021: Trends and How Your Brand Can Benefit
eCommerce Intelligence

Top 4 Trends Powering the Consumer Electronics Industry in 2021

by Emily Hunt , Market Research & eCommerce Specialist 4 Min.
August 6, 2021
It’s clear that the pandemic accelerated tech adoption, but the trends pushing the consumer electronics industry forward aren’t always obvious. To help you thrive in the space, we dove into the data with our eCommerce Research and Shopper Intelligence solutions and analyzed U.S. consumer activity H1 2021. Keep reading for the highlights.

1. Buy a laptop from your PC

Shopping for electronics from home started as a necessity. So far though, this shift doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Visits to Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Amazon electronics webpages averaged 11.6% year-over-year (YoY) growth in H1 2021 and often exceeded increases in traffic to retailers’ main sites. 

During H1 2021, traffic to walmart.com grew 5% YoY, whereas traffic to its electronics category climbed 12%, and traffic to video games increased 87%.

Top Retailers: Fastest Traffic Growth, Electronics Site Section 

U.S., Desktop, Jan. 2020 – June 2020 vs. Jan.  2021 – June 2021

Consumer Electronics Industry: Retail Growth

H1 2021 YoY growth to major retailers’ electronics categories (via Research Intelligence)

Takeaway

Consumers are more comfortable shopping for electronics online now, more than ever. To keep up, retailers need to focus efforts on digital transformation, even if their bread and butter is brick and mortar.  

2. Bargain hunting

As consumers get comfortable shopping online for gadgets, they’re also getting savvier at finding the best deals. Cross-shopping rates are high among major retailers. In H1 2021, 49% of shoppers for electronics on walmart.com cross-shopped the same category in Amazon, indicating that consumers are looking for the biggest bang for their buck, lacking loyalty to specific retailers.  

But there’s a rising loyalty to specialty, discount electronics websites – compounding consumers’ value-oriented mindset.

Take electronics discount retailer Newegg, which claims to offer “the best price on computer parts.” Fewer Newegg customers appear to be cross-shopping on Amazon than a year ago. In May 2021, shopper overlap with Amazon decreased 4 percentage points (ppts) YoY from 43% to 39%.

Amazon Electronics, Shopper Overlap

U.S., Desktop, Mobile Web, and Mobile App, Apr 2020 – Jun 2021

Shopper Overlap: Top Retailers, Electronics Industry

Shopper overlap of major retailers’ traffic for electronics in H1 (via Shopper Intelligence)

Takeaway

Unless you have a reputation for offering discounted electronics, offer pricing in line with other retailers – even try to undercut them – to generate business.

3. WFH: Digital nomads

Clicks from top keywords in Amazon’s electronics category reflect consumers’ desire to perfect their working environments. In H1, clicks to laptop stand for desk grew 2542%, and clicks to the wireless keyboard and mouse combo climbed 624%. 

Other fast-growing, office-related keywords suggest consumers are adapting to becoming digital nomads with hybrid work setups. These include:

  • UPS (uninterruptible power supply) battery backup (+913%)
  • Computer cases (+628%)
  • Portable Bluetooth speaker (1359%) 

Takeaway

Employees have adapted to working remotely and are serious about crafting the best work environment. Even with the vaccinated U.S. population exceeding 50%, the threat of variants, along with employers cutting down on office space to save costs, indicates remote or hybrid working is here to stay.

To capitalize on this trend, brands should integrate office-related keywords, like the above, into product descriptions on Amazon and other marketplaces to optimize their listings and increase their chances of topping the search results.

4. Work-play balance: Game on

Consumer demand for PC gaming rose during the pandemic and continues to climb. On Amazon, gaming PC searches are up 90% YoY, and clicks to gaming laptops grew 915%!

We suspect that lockdowns and sold-out consoles (like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series XS) initially contributed to this growth. But consumers are realizing the benefits of PC gaming and are learning that if they upgrade their work PC, it could become a gaming rig too.

Takeaways

PC gaming is a high-growth area for the consumer electronics industry. To succeed, brands need to break away from the pack through exciting product features or unique marketing strategies.

Some brands are already establishing themselves as industry leaders. On bestbuy.com, we can see ASUS earned the most gaming computer page views (9.85 M) with steady increases in page views throughout H1. This indicates ASUS is becoming the premiere gaming computer brand in the market.

Page Views by Gaming Computer Segments on bestbuy.com

U.S., Desktop, Mobile Web, and Mobile App, Jul 2019 – Jun 2021

Consumer Electronics Industry: Best Buy PC Gaming Trends

ASUS appears to be establishing itself as a leader in PC Gaming according to Best Buy data (via Research Intelligence)

Next steps

The tools that we used to pull these insights for the consumer electronics industry, Research and Shopper Intelligence, can help brands and retailers act on our takeaways by: 

  • Monitoring competitor and industry web traffic and engagement
  • Monitoring competitor pricing, including products that appear first in Amazon search results
  • Tracking trending keywords across the web, Amazon, Best Buy, and other online marketplaces
  • Monitoring digital activity for electronics and competitor segments

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