Electronics e-commerce is witnessing a strong, steady surge in the wake of the pandemic. This is because:
- A large number of companies continue to maintain work-from-home policies, that seem like they might exceed well into 2021
- A majority of schools continue with virtual learning
- Employees, parents and students have replaced holidaying and heading out to restaurants with e-entertainment like gaming. streaming movies online and more
Best Buy: A Case Study In Successful Electronics E-Commerce
Best Buy reported that second quarter domestic revenue rose 3.5% year over year to $9.13 billion (overall revenue, with international sales, reached $9.9 billion). Online revenue rose to about 53.1% of domestic revenue, compared to 16.1% last year, the largest quarterly digital take in the company’s history, CFO Matt Bilunas told analysts. So how did this happen, at a time when competitors were fumbling with losses and employee pay cuts?
Answer: The absorption of omnichannel strategies in their e-commerce growth. Stores were key for the Best Buy even when they were closed or open with limited hours as customers shopped online and picked up purchases curbside — an important differentiator at a time when Amazon is cleaning up in most categories. Some 60% of what the retailer sells flows through the store — in-store sales, BOPIS sales or ship-from-store, according to CEO Corie Barry.
Best Buy expects to continue to benefit from consumers’ increasing need to upgrade their home technology, electronics, and appliances.
Key players in the consumer electronics market Alibaba, Amazon, JD.com, eBay, Shopify, Rakuten, Walmart, Newegg, Target, and Flipkart have already amped up their e-commerce efforts.
Here are 4 reasons why other retailers must follow suit and digitize at the earliest:
1. To make customers feel safe
Even as lockdowns restrictions ease up across the globe, people remain highly stressed and anxious, with the amount of uncertainty going around about the coronavirus. This is a challenging time for everyone. Shoppers are really just trying to do their best, in terms of monitoring kids’ online classes, working from home, or trying to catch a break in the weekend by binge-watching Netflix.
It should be kept in mind that online shopping continues to be the primary (or only) choice for these anxious customers. And it’s up to retailers to help them by offering contactless shopping methods and extending convenient shopping experiences online. Retailers must enable people to shop safely, and easily by giving them what they’re looking for, offering diversity in their online selections or facilitating quick delivery.
2. To support shoppers battling economic limitations
As per a study by AdColony, shoppers are more budget-minded this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the portion of people saying they plan to spend less than $500 growing 10% to 86%! Twelve percent say they will spend between $500 to $999 and just 2% will fork out more than $1,000.According to an online study commissioned by PayPal and conducted by Netfluential, given economic uncertainty, 45% of parents and 43% of college students are interested in having the option to pay over time, through an installment plan, and having flexible payment options for electronics.
Uncertainty around COVID-19 is driving more shoppers to seek out flexible options in how they pay for electronic items. Along with helping shoppers safely prepare for the school year, retailers should also offer flexibility in how customers can pay.
3. People are willing to spend more for electronics now than ever before
The most common products that people say they will buy include electronics – 38% – per the AdColony survey. With many students attending virtual classes, the demand for electronics that help them connect with their schools is up. The most popular product categories for distance learning include computers (34%), tablets (30%), smartphones (23%). And web conferencing accessories like webcam, microphones and headsets (19%), AdColony said. That finding backs up previous research that indicates families this year will spend more on computer equipment, driving a 26% surge in back-to-school spending to a record $101.6 billion this year, the National Retail Federation estimated in July.
The study by Paypal/Netfluential also revealed that people are not just buying basic electronics online. They are also planning to purchase remote learning equipment, with 63% saying they plan to spend more on remote learning furniture and home goods. 59% indicating spending increase on tools and tech to make remote learning easier. This includes headphones, laptops and tablets, arts and crafts materials, monitors and bookcases and desks, including standing desks.
4. People are shopping online now more than ever before
Online shopping is also heating up. Among college students, 70% are doing more online shopping than before because of the pandemic. And nearly three-quarters will be doing their back-to-school shopping online. More than half (59%) of US consumers plan to use their smartphones for back-to-school shopping this year. This makes mobile devices more popular than PCs (26%) and tablets (15%), a study by AdColony found.
The global consumer electronics e-commerce market is expected to grow from $282.6 billion in 2019 to about $373.6 billion in 2020! And reach $548.4 billion at a CAGR of 18% through 2023. Read on to find out how you can digitize and benefit from the current market demands:
Spotlight: Vue.ai’s A.I. Stack for Electronics E-Commerce
Retail, technology and A.I. experts at Vue.ai have compiled 3 key elements that will generate incredible ROI for electronics retail. They are:
- Product Tagging: Automatically extract and create comprehensive and accurate tags from images and text, for enhanced product discovery.
- Personalized Marketing: Make your one-time shopper a repeat shopper with personalized retention marketing.
- Dynamic Personalization: Understand shopper intent within 2 clicks based on category, concern, brand, price & more, to power bespoke experiences.