US Online Electronics Retailing Market Report 2021
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“The pandemic has created new and increased needs for electronics in consumers’ lives. Moving forward, consumers’ relationship with electronics will only become more interconnected – leading to sustained category growth…

US Online Electronics Retailing Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Online Electronics Retailing market, including the behaviors, preferences and habits of the consumer.

With consumers having increased confidence in buying products online, they are buying more electronics products through ecommerce platforms now more than ever before. While the market has seen a 5% annual growth since 2017, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate consumers are buying electronics online. To match this demand, companies and retailers will need to continue to evolve their offerings and services.

The pandemic forced many to stay at home for long periods of time, the cancellation of many social events and the trend towards home working. Household spending on electronics rose by 6.5% in 2020, with many upgrading old electronics, or buying new electronics in order to pass the time and work from home more efficiently.

Retail sales are expected to sustain growth in the next few years, with online ecommerce channels playing a key role in that growth. Companies and brands will need to further improve their omnichannel offerings, helping to simplify the online purchasing and returns process to make things simpler for consumers.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our US Electrical Goods market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the electronics market
  • How consumer browse and shop for electronics online
  • Levels of consumer knowledge and impact on effective marketing strategies
  • Purchase motivators and barriers, including significant differences based on demographics
  • Ways retailers can make buying online even more attractive than the traditional in-store experience

Covered in this report

Brands: LG, Best Buy, Apple, IKEA, PlayStation, Vivint, Walmart, Amazon, Target, Warehouse Club, GameStop, Newegg, Samsung, Bose, Xbox, Arlo, Grover.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Vince DiGirolamo, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The pandemic has created new and increased needs for electronics in consumers’ lives. Moving forward, consumers’ relationship with electronics will only become more interconnected – leading to sustained category growth in the years ahead. Even as COVID-19 becomes less of a threat, online channels will continue to play a key role in how consumers browse and purchase electronics. Key trends such as the focus on sustainability and interest in circular shopping options will further shape the industry moving forward.

Vince DiGirolamo
Reports Director

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: US context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Market overview
                  • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of electronics*, at current prices, 2015-25
                • Impact of COVID-19 on online electronics
                  • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on online electronics, May 2021
                • Opportunities and challenges
                  • Offer new ways to drive trial and exploration of electronics to spark interest and consideration
                    • Cater to consumers focus on sustainability and interest in alternative shopping options
                      • Show consumers what’s possible through cross-category partnerships
                      • The Market – Key Takeaways

                        • Electronics are $180 billion market
                          • Households spend an average of $1,400 on electronics
                          • Market Size and Forecast

                            • Showing signs of continued growth, electronics pass $180 billion in retail sales
                              • Figure 3: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of electronics*, at current prices, 2015-25
                              • Figure 4: Total US retail sales and forecast of electronics*, at current prices, 2015-25
                            • Households spend on electronics increases to an average of $1,400 in 2020
                              • Figure 5: Average household spending on electronics*, 2015-20
                            • Impact of COVID-19 on online electronics
                            • Market Factors

                              • Improving unemployment rates and consumer confidence spark spending
                                • Figure 6: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-April 2021
                              • Online shopping increases drastically during pandemic
                                • Figure 7: Online shopping behavior, by pre- COVID-19 and during COVID-19, February 2021
                              • Concerns and changes to online privacy policies threaten targeted marketing
                              • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                • LG launches social shopping event
                                  • Best Buy pivots to digital order model following pandemic
                                  • Market Opportunities

                                    • Expand resale shopping options – both for buyers and sellers
                                      • Provide confidence and reassurance through test periods and flexible return policies
                                        • Partner with other passion areas to drive interest
                                        • Competitive Strategies

                                          • LG Electronics launches social shopping event
                                            • Figure 8: LG Electronics’ “The Upgrade” social shopping event
                                          • Best Buy fast-tracks online strategy following pandemic
                                            • Figure 9: Best Buy expands concept test to focus on ecommerce
                                        • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                          • Need and special offers drives online electronics shopping
                                            • Browsing is a key element to shopping online
                                              • Consumers want to have confidence and reassurances when shopping online
                                                • Alternative shopping options can encourage shopping and drive appeal
                                                  • Product reviews influence purchases
                                                  • Familiarity with Electronics

                                                    • Education and guidance are needed when shopping for electronics
                                                      • Figure 10: Technology and electronics knowledge, February 2021
                                                    • Men confident in their technology knowledge
                                                      • Figure 11: Technology and electronics knowledge, by gender, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 12: Best Buy highlights product benefits
                                                    • Younger generations are most confident in the category
                                                      • Figure 13: Technology and electronics knowledge, by generation, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 14: Targeting consumers with varying knowledge levels
                                                  • Approach to Shopping for Electronics

                                                    • Consumers buy in-stores, browse on-line
                                                      • Figure 15: Browsing versus purchasing, by shopper type, February 2021
                                                    • Discounts and replacement drive purchase
                                                      • Figure 16: Approach to shopping for electronics, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 17: Ikea offers buy back furniture program
                                                    • Younger consumers are more flexible on why and when they buy, but brand name matters for most consumers
                                                      • Figure 18: Approach to shopping for electronics, by gender, February 2021
                                                  • Items Purchased and Planned Purchases

                                                    • Changes in lifestyle and priorities drive purchases online
                                                      • Figure 19: Items purchased online; Purchases and Planned purchases, February 2021
                                                    • Gen Z and Millennials have broader category interests
                                                      • Figure 20: Planned purchases, by generation, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 21: Playstation highlights tech and personalization features
                                                      • Figure 22: Vivint promotes safety for the whole family
                                                      • Figure 23: Best Buy promotes health benefits from electronics
                                                  • Retailers Shopped

                                                    • Amazon dominates online
                                                      • Figure 24: Retailers shopped, February 2021
                                                    • Amazon’s impact spans all income levels
                                                      • Figure 25: Retailers shopped, by household income, February 2021
                                                  • Factors Driving Online Shopping for Electronics

                                                    • Product need drives demand
                                                      • Figure 26: Factors driving online shopping, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 27: Target x Apple partnership evolves in-store
                                                    • Social media has largest impact on younger consumers
                                                      • Figure 28: Shopping attitudes, by generation, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 29: Social influencer iJustine partners with electronics retailers
                                                  • Purchases Influences

                                                    • Product reviews influence purchases
                                                      • Figure 30: Purchase influences, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 31: Product reviews by CNET and Best Buy
                                                    • Women especially influenced by reviews and recommendations
                                                      • Figure 32: Purchase influences, by gender, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 33: Bose adds NFL draft picks to TeamBose
                                                    • Product-specific info resonates with younger audiences; older consumers influenced more by brand name
                                                      • Figure 34: Purchase influences, by generation, February 2021
                                                  • Consideration Factors

                                                    • Delivery/shipping cost most important factor
                                                      • Figure 35: Consideration factors, February 2021
                                                    • Younger consumers look for personalization and immediacy; older consumers focus more on the basics
                                                      • Figure 36: Select consideration factors, by generation, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 37: Customization options through Xbox’s Design Lab
                                                  • Purchase Barriers

                                                    • Negative or lack of product reviews and info can prevent online purchase
                                                      • Figure 38: Purchase barriers, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 39: Arlo Smart Home highlights delivery notifications
                                                    • Provide info, options and in-store elements to overcome key barriers
                                                      • Figure 40: Purchase barriers, by generation, February 2021
                                                  • Attitudes and Behaviors

                                                    • Electronics recycling program attractive to many; guidance is needed
                                                      • Figure 41: Electronics attitudes and behaviors, February 2021
                                                    • Interest in sustainability and shopping secondhand across genders
                                                      • Figure 42: Electronics attitudes and behaviors, by gender, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 43: Best Buy electronics recycling program
                                                      • Figure 44: OfferUp highlights electronics offering
                                                  • Ways to Encourage Additional Online Shopping

                                                    • Consumers want more flexibility and reassurances
                                                      • Figure 45: motivators for shopping, February 2021
                                                      • Figure 46: Grover offers electronics rentals
                                                    • Younger consumers look for various enhancements; older consumers focused on reassurances
                                                      • Figure 47: motivators for shopping, by gender and age, February 2021
                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                    • Data sources
                                                      • Sales data
                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                                            • Abbreviations

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