What you need to know

Electronics are a $180 billion market and, more than ever, consumers are purchasing from retailers online. COVID-19 has accelerated the trend of shopping for electronics online and retailers continue to evolve their offerings and capabilities to cater to consumers’ changing needs and behavior. Retail sales of electronics are poised for sustained growth in the years ahead, and the online channel will play a key role in that growth moving forward.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the electronics market

  • How consumer browse and shop for electronics online

  • Levels of consumer knowledge and impact on effective marketing strategies

  • Purchase motivators and barriers, including significant differences based on demographics

  • Ways retailers can make buying online even more attractive than the traditional in-store experience


For the purposes of this Report, Mintel defines the electronics segment to include, but not be limited to: televisions, entertainment electronics (DVD/Blu-ray player), wearable electronic devices (eg smartwatch, fitness band), smart devices (eg security systems, speakers), desktop/laptop computers, printers/scanners, internet equipment (eg modem/router), cameras/camcorders, and related devices and accessories.

The following Reports provide more in-depth coverage on the following specific categories: Wearable Technology – US, January 2021 and Smart Homes – US, May 2021.

Economic and other assumptions

Mintel bases its expectations for economic growth on projections provided by the CBO, the FOMC, the Conference Board and other public sources. Consensus estimates forecast US GDP to increase by 6.5% in 2021. Unemployment has been forecast to decline to as low as 4.1% by the end of 2021 with an average of 5.7% for the year.

COVID-19: US context

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. It was declared a global health pandemic and national emergency in early March 2020. Across the US, various stay-at-home orders were put in place in spring 2020, and non-essential businesses and school districts closed or shifted to remote operations. The remainder of 2020 saw rolling orders, as states and local governments relaxed and reinforced guidelines according to the spread of the virus in each region.

Vaccine rollout began in December 2020. Mintel anticipates business operations in the US will remain in a state of flux through 2021 as vaccines are widely administered and social distancing restrictions and capacity limitations gradually relaxed.

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