Competition factor and user-friendly driving consumer electronics demand

Published May 15th, 2012 - 02:32 GMT
Technological innovations making the lives of consumers even easier
Technological innovations making the lives of consumers even easier

Demand for consumer electronics could be in for another bout of growth, fuelled mainly by intense competition. Also helping the market dynamics is the fact that consumers have begun placing greater emphasis on how these products will enhance their lifestyles.

“For consumers who enjoy the good things in life, the drivers are technology innovation, design brilliance and ease of usage,” said Sachin Wadhwa, director of electronics at Al-Futtaim Group. “The budget consumer, however, places a great deal on value proposition, a responsive customer service and longer life for his product.”

Al-Futtaim Electronics plans to invest in distribution centres in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman to drive gains from product logistics at the lowest-cost structures.

According to research firm GfK, trade in electronics in the UAE is an estimated Dh12 billion this year compared to Dh11.1 billion in 2011. Digital cameras, game consoles, smart TVs, 3D TVs, small domestic appliances, ultrabooks and smartphones are the growth categories.

Brownie points

Technological innovations making the lives of consumers even easier and quick to “gain brownie points and acceptance among the tech-savvy UAE population,” Nilesh Khalkho, chief executive officer of Sharaf DG, said.

“There is also a new development in the form of cloud computing. Though earlier this was a focus area for enterprises, IT players like Microsoft, Apple, Google and others are now getting onto it and exploring the concept. The traditional PC, laptop and mobile will soon get reshaped with the cloud concept getting popular among individual consumers.”

After entering Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, Sharaf DG is looking to expand into Fujairah, Oman and Qatar. It operates 19 outlets, including one in Bahrain. “Almost all electronics products available today touch every facet of a consumer’s life. Hence, we don’t think they will need to cut down on these products,” Wadhwa said. “As such any brand that provides a compelling innovation and value proposition will stand to gain the consumer’s share of the wallet.”

According to Neelesh Bhatnagar, Emax CEO, constant innovation has pushed products that matter into the hands of budget consumers. Emax, with 11 outlets in the UAE and 32 across the GCC, plans to add 15 more in the local market and a total of 42 in the wider region this year. “Customers are always looking for added value in what they buy and thanks to the promotions and marketing activity in the UAE,” he said.

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