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Consumer electronics 101

Hand flicking switch

Innovative consumer electronic devices soon become mainstream, from smart speakers to doorbells. By affordably emulating global giants and successful startups alike, these exciting products are now accessible to everyone.

The smart home moves in

Today, it's possible to adjust your lighting, heating, and appliances from an app. You can even see who's at your door and control the locks, all from your smartphone. Powered by 'the internet of things' – and soon to be taken to a new level as 5G networks come online – the smart home revolution is gathering pace.


Smart home products are found in 32% of US households, expecting to climb to 53% by 2022. However, price is the biggest barrier for 33% of consumers. Despite this, data from Statista indicates that the number of connected products on sale will triple from 2018 to 2025. There is a market opportunity for your business right now; by offering bundled deals and finding lower-cost products from lesser known product suppliers, you can take connected electronics into the home – just make sure your supplier is as reliable as the big names.

32%

in 2018

53%

by 2022

Smart home products are found in 32% of US households, expecting to climb to 53% by 2022. However, price is the biggest barrier for 33% of consumers. Despite this, data from Statista indicates that the number of connected products on sale will triple from 2018 to 2025. There is a market opportunity for your business right now; by offering bundled deals and finding lower-cost products from lesser known product suppliers, you can take connected electronics into the home – just make sure your supplier is as reliable as the big names.

LOWER PRICES ARE ON THE WAY

Cost-focused development will trigger significant global growth in what is currently a steady smart home market, with Juniper Research estimating that the average cost of connected appliances will drop 52% between 2018 and 2023. With the market valued at nearly US$96bn in 2018, it is predicted to reach US$155bn by 2021.

Item 1

IKEA'S GETTING INTO TECH

Sonos and Ikea announced their 'music and sound' Symfonisk range in late 2017. The first prototype speakers were recently revealed, which can also function as a shelf to suit any surroundings. Intended to declutter your home of unwanted cords, the initial products should hit the market mid-2019.


TIP: Look for category-defying innovations.

Item 2

HEARABLES ARE HERE

Apple's pricey $159 AirPods were poorly received when they launched in late-2016, but now a quarter of headphone sales are wire-free. Affordable alternatives now start as low as US$26. Wireless is the future of headphones, with better battery life, features, and noise canceling all still to come.


TIP: Stock up on true-wireless headphones.

Item 3

THE CASE TO BE MADE FOR ACCESSORIES

Along with wireless earphones, the US$65bn mobile phone accessories market is bursting with portable power banks, shatter-proof cases and multi-point chargers, climbing to US$105bn by 2023. As phones grow in value, so do their protective cases, becoming the biggest revenue contributor in the field.


TIP: Are you stocking cases for the latest models?

North America will account for 41% of spending with US$40bn total, followed by the Asia-Pacific region at US$26bn. This latter market promises rapid expansion as smart home awareness spreads and consumers have more disposable income to spend on lifestyle upgrades.

North America will account for 41% of spending with US$40bn total, followed by the Asia-Pacific region at US$26bn. This latter market promises rapid expansion as smart home awareness spreads and consumers have more disposable income to spend on lifestyle upgrades.

THE TIME'S RIGHT FOR SMARTWATCHES
If smart home tech is the near-future, smartwatches are the here-and-now. Apple is the market leader, but as their latest model could cost you over US$1,000, affordable alternatives are flooding to market to meet demand.
You too can get involved in the mid-market smartwatch boom. Take a look at Mobvoi's Android-compatible Ticwatch E, which retails at just US$160 and comes with GPS and a heart-rate sensor. Or how about designer brand Fossil, now offering their own fashionable pieces from US$175? Fitness is a major driver of smartwatch sales, so make sure your models have the right features.

SMARTENING UP THE SMART HOME MARKET

Helping to bring the smart home to the everyday consumer, companies like Lenovo, Google Nest, Philips and others are making true smart home experiences possible. So, what kind of products are on offer?

Item 1

SMART CAMERA

Features two-way audio, remote directional and zoom capabilities

Item 2

Remote PLUG

Can be used to remotely turn on or off any attached device via an app

Item 3

Adjustable BULB

Offers varied brightness and color temperature for different moods

But, making products cross-compatible so they work with other brands' devices is tricky. Apple has its own HomeKit standard that other manufacturers can use, while Google uses Google Nest, as well as selling its own devices under the same brand name. Smart speakers – and services like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home – are seen as the main way to control smart home devices.

But, making products cross-compatible so they work with other brands' devices is tricky. Apple has its own HomeKit standard that other manufacturers can use, while Google uses Google Nest, as well as selling its own devices under the same brand name. Smart speakers – and services like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home – are seen as the main way to control smart home devices.

Smart but safe

Smart homes are nothing without good security. A recent survey from Metova found that 58% of consumers who own a connected home device are concerned about how it may threaten their privacy.


In the USA, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a new law requiring all new smart devices to have 'reasonable' security features from 2020. Such a publicized focus, and the changes it will bring, should prompt more consumers to trust smart home products. Are the devices you supply compliant with local online security regulations and privacy laws? You should confirm with your manufacturer or supplier that the products you sell meet your market's regulations.

58%

of customers

In the USA, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a new law requiring all new smart devices to have 'reasonable' security features from 2020. Such a publicized focus, and the changes it will bring, should prompt more consumers to trust smart home products. Are the devices you supply compliant with local online security regulations and privacy laws? You should confirm with your manufacturer or supplier that the products you sell meet your market's regulations.

Going Global

If you are looking to capitalize on the smart home trend, you should look for reliable shipping partners who can securely deliver to any country. Globalized markets mean tech enthusiasts want simultaneous release dates, no matter where they are in the world. For example, the Amazon Echo launched in the US in June 2015, but the rest of the world had to wait another year. Fast forward two years and the Echo Dot 3 saw simultaneous release dates on both sides of the Atlantic.

Going Global

If you are looking to capitalize on the smart home trend, you should look for reliable shipping partners who can securely deliver to any country. Globalized markets mean tech enthusiasts want simultaneous release dates, no matter where they are in the world. For example, the Amazon Echo launched in the US in June 2015, but the rest of the world had to wait another year. Fast forward two years and the Echo Dot 3 saw simultaneous release dates on both sides of the Atlantic.

To ensure you keep pace with demand, make sure you plan your shipping strategies with manufacturers in advance of any new product announcements. But don't forget – smart home tech is new to everyone, so your website needs to clearly communicate the value proposition of each and every device. It's an exciting new market segment, but still very much in its infancy and you'll need to educate your customers to the benefits.

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