Technical consumer goods, or TCGs, include electronic appliances and devices intended for home or personal use. Common examples of TCGs are large and small home appliances, TV and audio devices, computers and tablets, drones, smartphones, and wearable fitness and health trackers. While most sales of these goods still take place in traditional stores, the online market for TCGs is growing year by year.
Between 2015 and 2017, the TCG market has seen growth in the U.S. In the third quarter of 2017, consumer electronics generated 292 billion dollars in sales revenues—more than 10 billion dollars more than in 2015. The trend is moving in the opposite direction in Western Europe, where consumer electronics accounted for nearly 6 billion dollars in 2017, representing a decrease of about 3 billion dollars over a two-year period.
Shopping online is a growing trend that affects all market sectors, but especially TCGs. The large majority of shoppers worldwide research electronic goods before purchasing, while only a slight majority (51%) prefer to make those purchases in a brick-and-mortar store. In Western Europe, there is a stronger preference (over 77%) for shopping in traditional stores, like an Expert store. The Czech Republic and the Netherlands are the two European countries with the strongest preference for purchasing TCGs online, while Germans purchase the greatest number of TCGs online (30% of all online TCG sales).
New Product Categories
In 2016, the market began to see new categories of consumer electronics emerging. Some of the most popular are wearable trackers like the Fitbit and smartwatches, virtual and augmented reality technology, drones, and smart home devices like the Nest thermostat. Experts predict that the Internet of Things will continue to generate new products and attract consumer interest.
The biggest concern that innovators and manufacturers need to address is privacy. Consumers are worried about the privacy of the personal data they are asked to provide or make available to marketers, especially via smart devices and smart home systems. These concerns have been heightened by recent major data breaches. Manufacturers of TCGs will need to put increasing effort into protecting consumers’ data if they want to earn consumers’ confidence.