Ecommerce Powers Consumer Electronics Sales

We expect US computer and consumer electronics ecommerce sales will total $156.50 billion this year—and nearly half of the products sold in this category overall (49.5%) will be purchased online. Not surprisingly, digital ad dollars are rushing to follow consumer behavior. By and large, the computing products and consumer electronics […]

We expect US computer and consumer electronics ecommerce sales will total $156.50 billion this year—and nearly half of the products sold in this category overall (49.5%) will be purchased online. Not surprisingly, digital ad dollars are rushing to follow consumer behavior.

By and large, the computing products and consumer electronics industry accounts for the bulk of digital ad spending by tech companies. Business-to-consumer (B2C) companies like Apple, Dell, Samsung, and Sony fall into this category, as do B2B service providers like Adobe, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and other IT firms. We also include internet, cloud, and software solutions providers like Intuit, Salesforce, Shopify, and Zoom. Game console makers, shared economy apps, and mobile payment platforms belong in this category as well.

The pandemic has, for the most part, increased demand for these firms’ products and services, as it has for telecom services. Travel, auto, entertainment, and, to a lesser extent, retail have suffered steep downturns. But many computing products and consumer electronics companies have found themselves in the awkward position of booming while much of society goes bust.

This boom is good news for digital publishers, at least. We forecast computing products and consumer electronics companies will spend $11.64 billion on digital ads in 2020, up 18.0% from 2019. This represents the fastest growth in digital ad spend across all industries in 2020. By contrast, total US digital ad spend will grow just 1.7% this year.

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