CE season is on its way

Renesas Electronics introduces Target Boards for its popular RX65N, RX130 and RX231 microcontroller (MCU) groups
Consumer electronics are hot gift items for dads and grads. (Renesas Electronics)

Late spring and early summer is the time for celebrating dads and grads. Both Father's Day and graduation drive an uptick in the sales of consumers electronics (CE). 

According to statistics from Criteo, 51% of CE buyers do not buy from the first website they visit, and 25% put items in their cart without purchasing right away. The reason for the hesitation is the amount of research that consumers put into CE products before buying. 

CE shoppers like to look at videos of products, 77%, and more appealing product shots can make a difference for 89% of shoppers. 

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Still, consumers that shop for CE also tend to buy purchase these items on impulse, 54%. 

And physical stores are still popular as 25% of respondents browse products online before purchasing in a retail store and on the flip side, 15% purchase online after seeing the product online. 

But more consumers are willing to purchase online with the incentive of free shipping on returns, which ranks even higher than discounts as a factor of where to buy. 

John Roswech, executive VP, Criteo, Brand Solutions, says that e-commerce is changing the seasonality and shopping patterns of retail due to its 24/7 demands.

"People often have more time in the summer with vacations or simply more daylight hours to go out and shop," Roswech told FierceRetail. "This creates an opportunity for CE brands to draw shoppers in-store within the experiential shopping umbrella, something that continues to grow with the rise of mobile shopping."

As an example, he notes that electronics stores are becoming more like showrooms for products and then consumers are purchasing online for delivery or in-store pickup. 

"Retailers have an opportunity to analyze the hottest sales of the holiday season and Q1 2018 in order to facilitate highly targeted cross-purchasing and impulse shopping opportunities for shoppers. For example, a fitness wearable, like FitBit, purchased during the New Year’s resolution shopping cycle is prime for accessories targeting, showing shoppers what else they might enjoy pairing with the FitBit as they head outside for summer fitness routines," he said. 

Still, CE retailers have their challenges and one of the big ones is offering free return shipping. Roswech says that free return shipping ranks higher in priority to consumers than discounts as a factor in determining where to buy online. Plus, free returns are an expensive challenge for retailers in a category with large items. But he says the problem can be solved by offering in-store returns for goods bought online, which solves the cost issue and provides an opportunity to upsell.

Moving forward, Roswech reminds retailers that CE shoppers want to be able to research, examine and purchase in all channels.

"According to the Criteo shopper story, 54% of purchases in CE are made on impulse, which is excellent news for CE brands," he said. "It means that shoppers are open to purchasing goods that aren’t on their list. Tapping resources like Criteo Sponsored Products enable CE brands to cross sell to encourage shoppers to buy the protective case with the mobile device and the cables with the television."

In addition, Roswech notes that informative product reviews are important to omnichannel CE shoppers. 

"This is great news for brands that sell products on retail sites as they can leverage tools like Criteo Sponsored Products to reinforce items under consideration and the validation those items have received from other shoppers. Criteo data has also found that product photos, 360-degree views and video demos are especially important," he said.