After experiencing an average 7.7% drop in sales between 2008-2009 (from $178.6 billion to $164.9 billion), consumer electronics retailers now have a good reason to cheer. The early figures from the Consumer Electronics Association projected a 0.6% rise in sales in 2010. The better news is that the association expects  spending on accessories to increase by 5% this year.

Many consumers (61%) are shopping for electronics these days and about half (53%) have purchased an accessory in the past year. As with many other expenditures, consumers are looking for value when they purchase accessories. Rhonda Daniel, manager of market research for CEA, says the value focus extends more to “quality and functionality than price.”

Once consumers own an underlying device, they enter the accessories market for the following reasons:

  • To obtain a better quality accessory 41%
  • Enhance performance 26%

And with the many resources available to them, consumers tend to focus on the following as they research their accessory options:

  • Discuss with people who own the product: 54%
  • Friends and family: 45%
  • Online reviews: 44%

In most cases (75%), consumers enter the accessory market after they already own the underlying device. Perhaps this time delay allows them to understand which accessories will work best. In any event, marketers should promote both price and convenience as these factors tend to drive consumer selection of store location when purchasing accessories ranging from carrying cases to charging devices.

[Source:  Consumers Will Increase Spending on Electronics Accessories. Consumer Electronics Association. 19 May 2010. Web. 21 May 2010]