Consumer Electronics Industry: Adapting the New Dynamics
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Consumer Electronics Industry: Adapting the New Dynamics

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Consumer Electronics Industry: Adapting the New Dynamics

Vikas Chadha, CEO, Jumbo Group, 0

At the turn of the century, the consumer electronics industry in the UAE depended largely on in-store sales. It drew strength from the nation's strong economic growth and rising disposable income among consumers to drive growth. In recent times though, particularly after COVID-19, technology is tipping the balance.

Technology has changed the rules of engagement. The consumers are inundated with choices – of products, modes of purchase, payment, delivery and more. There is also digital advertising and influencer marketing, which have brought about a shift in consumer behaviour. While the quality of products and services remains a big differentiator, it's not enough to ensure customer loyalty.

The subject of the metaverse adds a whole new dimension to the discussion. With continuing investments and as the content and software side of the metaverse develops, the consumer electronics industry is bound to evolve too.

Brick-and-mortar retailers must adopt technology at speed and scale and capture consumers at the right moments to drive sales. While some retailers may see it as a challenge, it's also an opportunity for planned investments and growth.

Market Potential
According to our analysis, in 2021, value of the consumer electronics and home appliances market in the UAE was approximately AED 12 billion and going by the current numbers, the market may reach AED 14 billion by end of 2022. The upcoming World Cup in Qatar might push up the numbers further. In these circumstances, a growth rate of 17 -20 percent is achievable.

Moreover, with the UAE growing steadily and introducing more visa reforms, economic activities will accelerate and boost purchases. Jumbo Electronics Co. Ltd, one of the UAE’s leading consumer electronics and home appliances retailers, has witnessed double-digit growth in the past two quarters and looks set on that trajectory for
the coming two quarters as well.

Emerging Trends
At Jumbo, we have seen that in stores, smartphones, TVs and smart appliances such as vacuum cleaners and
hair dryers sell a lot, while premium products in smartphones and laptops categories seem to be doing good online sales.

The future is for businesses that are forward-looking, quick to adopt technology and find inventive ways of engaging with consumers



We also noticed a shift in momentum from tier 3 to tier 1 brand. With a supply chain constraint of chips, only tier 1 brands maintained their product supply. This advantage, coupled with strong service levels, is leading consumers to see the value in spending that extra. Besides, the tier 1 brands are investing heavily in this market resulting in a better market capture for them.

The influx of products with shorter life cycles, however, is leading to increased e-waste. At Jumbo, we curtail this trend by being highly selective of the products we sell. We consider their shelf-life and encourage consumers to choose products that yield good ROI (Return on investment). Jumbo was also able to ward off the impact of chip shortage on product supply through proactive planning, and to some extent helped the market maintain its equilibrium.

The Way Forward
Despite all the technological advancements, the traditional market is faring better than last year. One of the reasons for this positive turn is the increased footfall in the malls during weekends, which translates to higher sales. Moreover, with e-commerce gaining maturity, the difference in discounts offered by offline and online channels is slowly vanishing. Besides, nothing can beat the allure of the physical shopping experience that allows customers to have a look and feel of the product before investing.

The future is for businesses that are forward-looking, quick to adopt technology and find inventive ways of engaging with consumers. Businesses that re-think and re-design the Omnichannel experience are going to have the lion’s share of the consumer electronics market in the UAE.
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