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E-commerce in the Consumer Electronics sector


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Consumer electronics are the perfect showcase for everything marketing automation can do.

Consumer electronics — phones, televisions, computers, etc. — have long been a cornerstone of online sales. Right from the earliest days of e-commerce, retailers were able to connect with an audience eager to get their hands on the latest model, newest upgrade or that season’s must-have gadget.

These days, electronics still lead the way. As easily shipped, familiar commodities that can be researched online before purchase, electronic goods lead the way when it comes to the kinds of products that consumers buy online. eMarketer says that in 2020, consumer electronics was the number one sector for online sales, even beating apparel and clothing.

Heading into the 2021 holiday season, it’s reasonable to expect similar results, given the accelerated transition to online shopping and away from brick and mortar shopping, especially in electronics. On top of that is something else that can’t be quantified but it is certainly another factor pushing the online sales of electronics — the growing trend of showrooming, or physically examining an electronic device in a store before buying it online.

In short, electronics play a major role in the growth of e-commerce and that’s why we decided to dig a little deeper to discover how online electronics retailers are using marketing automation to boost sales in a hypercompetitive marketplace and get some insights into the challenges facing the industry.

Marketing automation in online electronics sales

The detailed information we have access to comes from multiple edrone clients operating in the consumer electronic sector in Europe and South America. Some of them are active in a single market while others operate across borders.

All of the data that we use in the remainder of this post is taken from the first half of 2021 and, for obvious reasons of confidentiality, are an average of aggregated results.

It’s very clear from that stats that marketing automation has a clear and immediate impact on sales, with 18% of all income directly attributable to an edrone feature. Not surprisingly, this improved Customer Experience resulted in a 16% boost in total Customer Value.

As impressive as those numbers might be, they’re nothing compared to the incredible rise in the number of customers who made repeat purchases because of marketing automation tools, who returned to make additional sales more than five times more often than the control group.

While just over six percent of pre-automation customers typically returned to the store within twelve months to make a purchase, nearly forty percent of customers did after marketing automation tools were deployed.

More sales, more often from customers who become more valuable to the store — the lessons here are clear.

Impressive growth can also be found in other metrics like newsletter subscriptions. The use of pop-ups and other elements delivered an increase of more than 35%, even with already sizable user databases.

Automated processes are the foundation of tools like edrone. When implemented on high-traffic sites like those used by prominent consumer electronics retailers, every metric that reflects successful engagement with clients heads in the right direction immediately.

In our sample of companies that started using our automated scenarios, they all experienced instant increases in average revenue per thousand emails sent (nearly $7,500), average CTR (an impressive 9.5%), open rates (an incredible 36.8%) and a conversion rate of just under two-and-a-half percent, a very respectable figure in this industry.

Newsletters are especially important for electronics retailers. The huge selection of goods on hand means there are more sales to promote, new models are always hitting the market and manufacturers frequently partner with retailers for limited promotions. All this and more means regular and effective contact with customer email inboxes is a must. Increasing the size and quality of the newsletter’s address database is a must.

Using tools from edrone, our customers boosted all the relevant metrics for newsletters, including total revenue generated, open rate, CTR and conversion rate.

Still, the takeaway here is that marketing automation is the express lane to higher sales, achieving results that even the most optimized newsletters can only dream about.

More lessons for online retailers

There are other lessons to learn from the activities of edrone customers active in the online consumer electronics sector that are relevant to the use of marketing automation tools.

Our customers report that the most used automation scenarios include Recover Abandoned Cart, Restore Viewed Products, Newsletter Subscription, Restore Customer and After Sale. This does not come as a surprise because the same automations would almost certainly occupy the top spots in the results from any industry. This is for the simple reason that they cover all the familiar challenges for any online retailer — abandoned carts, following up on demonstrated interests, opening new communication channels and keeping dialogues going.

Other findings give us insights into issues like purchase frequency, average order value and the length of the sales funnel.

Purchase frequency is typically fairly low in electronics compared to, say, clothing. This is easily understood when we consider how often we need a new television, computer or phone.

This means that taking advantage of cross-selling and up-selling strategies are key since the opportunity does not present itself very often. Accessories and items that form a set where applicable are ideal candidates for targeted promotions here. When a customer only visits when they need a new major electronics purchase, you have to make the most of the interactions that you have.

Another aspect of this situation is a very high average price point on these rarely-purchased items. While this does much to improve average order values, it can also leave little room for add-ons and extras.

That brings us to lessons regarding the length of the sales funnel. While there are of course exceptions, major electronics purchases are not made on impulse. Consumers comb the internet for reviews, videos, descriptions and more in an effort to learn all they can and compare products to alternatives.

It’s often the case that the number and quality of those videos and descriptions can be a deciding factor when it comes time to make a choice. More complete, engaging and well-produced content covering the features and benefits of a given item can be very persuasive. The more expensive an item is, the more and better content it should have surrounding it to educate consumers and convince them that this is just what they’re looking for.

The road ahead for electronics in e-commerce

There is no branch of retail and no product category that hasn’t been revolutionized by e-commerce. As big as online shopping has become, we are still just entering a kind of golden age where the entire experience is constantly upgraded to the enormous benefit of consumers.

Perhaps no segment of e-commerce better represents this than consumer electronics. Every advance in the entire process of finding, researching and purchasing goods is showcased here best. Customers both have a world of information at their fingertips with which to make comparisons and then, when they’re ready to make a purchase, access to the best possible, most competitive pricing.

As online retailing continues to break new ground in the quest to perfectly recreate the offline experience, online shoppers will increasingly turn to e-commerce to satisfy their electronics needs even more often.

Want to learn more about how edrone can turbocharge your online operations? Drop us a line at hello@edrone.me


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