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How to start a consumer electronics online marketplace

Last updated on September 17, 202010 min read

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In this fast-paced world we’re living in, consumer electronics have become crucial to us. And if you’re thinking about starting a consumer electronics online marketplace – you’re just in time.

As technological advancements continue to enter the market and customer expectations are reaching new heights, consumer electronics needs to adapt and to new needs and wants of the modern customer. 

If you’re interested in starting a consumer electronics online marketplace, you’ll most likely read through this article with ease! 

Throughout the article, you’ll find information on current consumer electronics industry trends, strategies for growing your consumer electronics business, and expert advice. 

And if you’d like some help with starting a consumer electronics online marketplace, reach out to us!

Our experts would like to know more about how we can help you! 

Firstly, let’s take a look at the consumer electronics industry in 2020!

What we have prepared for you

Why should you start a consumer electronics online marketplace? 

 According to research conducted by Global Market Insights, the demand for consumer electronics products is growing at a fast pace. 

To make sure that devices integrated with the latest technologies are widely available, public organizations such as European Commission and U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency are introducing new initiatives, encouraging the production of innovative products.

New technologies, such as artificial intelligence, voice assistants, and IoT have largely improved the functionality of today’s consumer electronics. 

Seeing the huge improvements in device quality, customers are willing to spend more on such devices. 

North America - Consumer Electronics Market

According to Global Market Insights, consumer electronics is on its way to reaching the market value of $1.5 trillion by 2026.

This growth can be attributed to the increase in the purchasing power of customers, as it can be to the declining prices of various consumer electronics products. 

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the growth of the consumer electronics industry, continuous decreases in the product price and new technological advancements are slowly firing up the growth rate.

A great example of such price decline is the price of a 4K television.

In 2012, we’ve witnessed 4K TVs to cost around $5000-8000, while now there are 4K TVs available for $300.

This type of decline is expected to continue throughout the following years, contributing to even further expansion of the consumer electronics industry.

Simply put together, as we move forward, we’ll witness a huge number of new users of consumer electronics – also know as, new potential customers. 

And if you’re still not fully sure about starting your own eCommerce business, check out some of the benefits of eCommerce for both your business and your customers!

When starting a consumer electronics online marketplace, you won’t need to worry about the demand for your products.

The demand is constantly present and growing.

One of your greatest points of focus is going to be – competition.

Further down the article, we’ll talk more about how to stand out in the huge crowd of consumer electronics retailers.

And now, let’s take a look at some trends in the industry! 

What’s currently trending in the consumer electronics industry?

Before starting a consumer electronics online marketplace, it is a prerequisite to get familiar with current trends and prepare for them.

The research experts from Infiniti Research have pointed out several rising trends in the consumer electronics industry in 2020.

So, let’s check out each trend! 

Smart speakers and smart displays

According to Parks Associates’ research, by the end of Q2 2019, more than 36% of US households owned at least 1 smart speaker, and more than 16% own at least 1 smart display.

Ownership of Smart Speakers in consumer electronics industry

Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, have seen a huge increase in products sold.

Since 2016, the adoption of smart speaker devices has tripled – leading to such high numbers shown in the graph above.

Smart display devices have also made way into US households quickly, quadrupling the number of devices in households since 2017. 

Be it individuals or companies, such smart devices are helping them save time, and are used by customers of all ages and levels of technological adeptness. 

They enable quick and effortless access to a number of platforms, such as YouTube, Netflix, and such, enabling customers to start any activity in a matter of seconds. 

5G smartphones

On this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 5G was one of the major narratives. 

Without any doubt, the fifth generation of wireless technology is soon to overtake the world’s economy and create a huge spike in the number of users of 5G devices.

5G Handset Shipment Expectations -consumer electronics industry

To bring their smartphone sales at a higher level, companies such as Samsung, Xiaomi, and Huawei are already launching their 5G smartphones. 

The fact that only newly-manufactured smartphones, created with a specific purpose, can use the advantages of the new 5G network means that every smartphone user that wants to use the 5G network – needs to buy a 5G smartphone. 

Over the next several years, we’re likely to see a huge number of innovations regarding 5G technology and smartphone development. 

Smart homes

A rise in the adoption of smart speakers and voice control in general, smart homes have become extremely popular. 

Smart assistants, such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa are now connected to the most home appliances through a wi-fi connection, enabling their users to control their home with only a simple voice command. 

Some devices that you can control via voice commands are vacuum cleaners (unexpectedly), printers, and even lights.

Also, smart TVs are easily controlled with voice commands. 

Tech giants, such as Samsung and Sony, have already recognized the opportunity to utilize this technology and are integrating voice control in their smart TVs.

Hisense and Insignia are also offering voice control in their TVs and are expecting to triple their TV sales by 2022.

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The current direction of the development of smart homes is towards creating a complete smart home where a user could effortlessly operate all of the devices using only voice.

The end goal of this technology trend is customer convenience, and to grow successfully – companies need to place convenience as their main focus. 

Augmented and virtual reality devices

Augmented and virtual reality has been hyped up for decades, and finally, we’ve reached actual and beneficial use cases.

According to Markets and Markets, we’re soon about to witness a huge boom in the usage of both AR and VR devices worldwide

Consumer electronics - AR market Consumer electronics - VR market

And where are we going to see these devices’ applications? 

There are tons of industries that are going to benefit from these technologies, so let’s take a look at those industries.

  1. Games and entertainment
  2. eCommerce and retail
  3. Interior design and urban planning
  4. Real estate
  5. Tourism and travel
  6. Education and training
  7. Healthcare
  8. Communication and collaboration
  9. Manufacturing
  10. Advertising and marketing

The best thing here is that while you’re reading this, you may already have a few ideas about how to implement AR and VR in these industries.

For instance, let’s just remember Pokemon GO. An innovative mobile game that focuses on the use of AR.

Or we can take the IKEA app for example, where you could take a look at any piece of furniture thanks to its AR component.

In the next several years, we’ll be seeing more effective use cases of these technologies and, to be honest, we’re pretty excited!

Of course, there are more trends you should take into consideration when starting a consumer electronics online marketplace.

If you’d like to know what’s waiting for us in the future, check out the official website of the Consumer Electronics Show.

CES 2020 was a pretty exciting one. In this video, you can check out some of the highlights, and feel free to check out more info on CES.

Every year, new trends and technologies are showcased and this could serve you as a great inspiration for your new business endeavors. 

Why is it important to pick a specific niche in this industry? 

Now, all of these trends seem to be extremely profitable and you may want to jump in and just sell these products.

Customers all over the world are going for all things digital and electronic and selling all of those products may seem to be an excellent move. 

And this couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

The main challenge you could face right from the beginning is a strong competition.

It could be extremely difficult to compete with large consumer electronic retailers and marketplaces, be it the case of price or the catalog.

Also, there are more and more major consumer electronics manufacturers, such as Apple, that are selling their products directly to customers. 

So, what can you do?

You’ll need to pick a specific niche.

There are several reasons why you should pick a niche when starting a consumer electronics online marketplace, and here are some of them: 

  • Identify a specific set of problems
  • Having a specific set of products or product categories makes it easier for you to market your business
  • Targeting a niche will get your consumer electronics online marketplace in front of users that are almost ready to buy

When starting small, it’s important to avoid the mistake of selling everything to everyone

This won’t result only in the inability to compete with larger competitors, but it will diminish the growth of your online marketplace.

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If you’re starting a consumer electronics online marketplace specifically for AR-based products, you’ll be more likely to set yourself apart from the competition as a brand specialized in AR. 

This wouldn’t be the case if you’d choose to go with 30 different product categories, with AR-based products being just one of them. 

You’ll be met with strong competition and soon you’ll find yourself fighting an uphill battle.

Marketing strategies for consumer electronics online marketplace

Starting a consumer electronics online marketplace isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have a sound marketing strategy in the first place. 

To be honest, your marketing budget isn’t unlimited and you’ll need to choose between a variety of different marketing strategies. 

Understanding different marketing strategies will help you choose a specific one that will be the most suited one for your consumer electronics online marketplace. 

To help you choose your marketing strategy, we’ll show you how a certain consumer electronics brand is currently winning in the marketing field. 

You may have heard of Fitbit

It’s a piece of wearable technology that connects to your mobile device via an app and measures a variety of metrics, such as heart rate, the number of steps walked, sleep quality, and so on. 

They’ve been doing quite a good job regarding marketing, so let’s check it out.

Get to know your customers! 

This advice may seem a bit vague, but it’s more important than any other advice you could get.

Even if you had the best marketing campaign ever created – if you don’t know your audience extremely well, it won’t do you any good. 

What you’ll need to here is to study your audience! 

Try to answer a few questions, such as: 

Identify the buyer persona

There are tons of other questions that can help you create your buyer personas.

We’ve written an in-depth article series about starting an online marketplace and in the first article in the series – we’ve pointed out several tips to help you create a buyer persona.

Check it out! 

Once you have a deep understanding of your target audience, you’ll be able to create and deliver personalized content across all channels you’re active on. 

Fitbit does this in a great way. 

Fitbit can say about their customers that they want to get healthier.

It’s pretty much obvious since they’re selling a device that tracks different metrics related to their health. 

So, to make sure they’re taking good care of their customers, they’ve been using their blog to create content specifically for their target audience – the people who want to get healthier. 

Even though their content may not directly encourage some of the readers to buy a Fitbit –  it will encourage the current owners of Fitbit to spread the word about how Fitbit is a brand that feels human and helps their customers reach their personal goals. 

When speaking about great content, let’s take a look at their video content.

consumer electronics online marketplace video strategy

Through different videos, they’ve been showing their potential new customer how it feels to wear a Fitbit. 

They’re constantly pumping out content that’s specific to their target audience.

After some time, whenever one of their customers, or followers on social media, thinks about a fitness tracker, Fitbit will instantly come to their mind.

Leverage social media 

Social media is, undoubtedly, important to any eCommerce business, especially businesses in the consumer electronics industry. 

You’ll want to be present on as many social media channels as you can handle.

Fitbit takes social media quite seriously and they’ve expanded their influence to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. 

Each social media channel has a different purpose, so let’s take a look at their social strategy. 

How to use videos in your social media strategy?

First, let’s check out their Youtube.

Fitbit has a deep understanding of its customers and they know what their customers want to achieve. 

Through their short Youtube videos, they’re showing their viewers how Fitbit products will make them feel if they take the leap of faith and buy the product.

Each video tells a story about a single user of the product – ranging from professional athletes to ordinary people chasing a healthier lifestyle. 

These videos answer the question “Why should I buy the product?” 

Your potential customers will no longer ask themselves “Do I need this product?” – instead, they’ll ask themselves “Do I want to feel the way people in those videos felt after using this product?” 

Using user-generated content on your social media

If we take a look at Fitbit’s Instagram, we’ll notice a good amount of user-generated content.

Social media profile consumer electronics online marketplace

The best marketers of your consumer electronics online marketplace are your customers. 

This industry is no stranger to high prices and it takes a lot for a visitor to turn into a customer.

To understand why this strategy works wonders, you can try putting yourself in a situation where you’re looking for a new smartwatch. 

You’ve researched the specifications, compared functionalities, and you’re still not coming up with a decision. 

What could be a great tipping point in this case? 

Simply, if a friend approached you and said he prefers Fitbit for several reasons, your choice would be a lot easier.

You’ll get an authentic answer – the same as you’d see on Fitbit’s Instagram profile. 

Sometimes, making a decision by yourself is hard. It’s always useful to have someone to help you – so feel free to rely on your customers to be the best advocates of your brand. 

Consider using email marketing

According to Oberlo, the average expected ROI is $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing. 

Also, it’s worth noting that there are 293.6 billion emails sent and received each day, and choosing to go with this strategy may be a sound move.

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When you want to communicate with your customers regarding your consumer electronics online marketplace, doing so via email proves to be one of the most effective ways.

Once you’ve obtained a significant number of customers and newsletter subscribers, you can easily segment them based on their previous actions and preferences

This way, you can approach these customers in a personalized manner, improving the chance of converting them into customers or even upselling them.

If you’d like to know more about how you can leverage email marketing to boost your consumer electronics online marketplace, check out BigCommerce article on strategic email campaigns. It’s really good! 

In the end, every marketing activity can be measured so you know you’re efficiently achieving your goals.

Check out our article on eCommerce analytics and take a look at some analytics tools we’ve displayed – they could be extremely useful to you!

We’ve shown you a few strategies you may use to level up your marketing, and there’s a lot more of them! 

Before you’ve chosen a strategy, be sure to check out all of the alternatives to make sure you’re making the right choice. 

And if you aren’t fully sure that you’re making the right choice, feel free to ask us for help! We’d be happy to help you!

Back over to you – your first step!

Throughout this article, we’ve gone through some important topics you’ll want to know about starting a consumer electronics online marketplace. 

It’s not an easy process – and it’s a long one. To help you get started more quickly, we’ve prepared for you a 3-part article series on starting your own marketplace where we cover everything.

This article series consists of 3 articles, each covering a specific phase:

Starting a consumer electronics online marketplace may seem hard to accomplish by yourself.

So, if you’re in need of any help in developing your online marketplace, give us a call! We’d like to hear more about your ideas and how we can support you.

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