Many companies have made mistakes this year due to changes in our spending choices. After two years at home, Americans eager to travel and party are hanging out on plane tickets and fancy clothes – and ignoring the patio furniture and soft pants we used in 2020.
Consumer electronics can be a hotbed of American flip flop shopping habits. Gadget purchases have suddenly changed from hot to non-hot, a change that could potentially cause a lot of frustration and confusion for many companies – and possibly some great deals for those who still want to buy electronics. Are
In the early months of epidemics, many of us were so anxious to buy Internet routers, laptops, video game consoles and other tech gear that it was impossible to find some products to keep us productive and comfortable at home. ۔ However, experts warn that people will inevitably shy away from buying certain types of gadgets until they need them again.
After two flush years of gadget purchases, the intensity of change has taken many by surprise. The Commerce Department revealed last week that from January to May, electronics and appliance stores became the only retail category whose sales declined compared to the same five months of 2021. Best Buy said last month that purchases at its stores have plummeted, especially for computers and home entertainment, and that remains to be seen. And research firm IDC expects global smartphone sales to decline this year, mostly in China.
What is bad for electronics manufacturers and stores may be good for us, but value hunters need to be careful. Nathan Bro, who writes about the purchase deals for the Wire Cutter, a New York Times product recommendation service, told me that some electronics prices are already being discounted. But sales are not always a good deal when inflation is at a 40-year high in the United States. The price of a discounted product may still be higher than similar models from a few years ago, Bro said.
The breakdown in shopping habits has left Walmart, Target, Gap and some other retail chains with the wrong type of product. The same is true of certain types of electronics, which means that there is a possibility of lower prices during the “holiday” shopping from Amazon, Target, Best Buy and Walmart in the summer.
Burroughs predicts a significant drop in the price of tablets, Internet networking devices, Amazon devices and some laptops, including the Chromebook.
Research firm NPD Group said this year that consumer electronics sales are likely to decline in 2022 and again in 2023 and 2024 – but the last two years of electronics sales will still be higher than in 2019. Despite the high sales overall, the trend of electronics sales passing unexpectedly and then suddenly sinking is troubling for gadget makers and sellers.
“It’s unexpected that everything goes wrong,” said Jitesh Ibrani, a research manager at IDC.
It is difficult for electronics manufacturers, retailers and buyers to make long-term predictions. Some executives have said that the availability of essential components such as global shipping and computer chips could never be normal in 2019. Selected electronics, such as low-cost TVs and laptops, may end up doing well because manufacturers and retailers make more profit from expensive products.
In the electronics industry, experts have told me that there has been talk of doing things differently to prepare for possible future crises, including expanding more gadget manufacturing to countries other than China. It is not clear how our spending could change in response to the government’s efforts to cool inflation, inflation or possible recession.
For a while, people in rich countries became accustomed to a steady stream of cheap and plentiful electronics, furniture, clothing and other goods thanks to interconnected global factories and shipping. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated by the epidemic in the supply chain, which has forced some economists and executives to reconsider the stalemate.
It is possible that the volatility of electronics sales after 2020 will resolve itself in a few years. Or perhaps consumer electronics is the microcosm of a world plagued by epidemics that may never be the same again.
Before we go
Microsoft will remove features that claim to identify a person’s age, gender and emotional state from their facial recognition technology. My colleague Kashmir Hill reported that the decision was part of a broader effort by the company and elsewhere in the tech industry to use artificial intelligence software more responsibly.
The distribution of the Amazon package via drone to a rural town in California is distributed: “I don’t want drones flying around my house – we live in the country,” a resident of Lockford, California, told the Washington Post. (Subscription may be required.)
Related to last week’s on-tech: Where are the delivery drones?
Isn’t Google search what it used to be? The Atlantic sees pieces of truth – including ruthless commercialization – behind the realization that web search is becoming less useful. (Subscription may be required.)
You must read my colleague Sarah Lyle’s article on Wasabi, the semi-retired champion Pekingese who enjoys her life and does not play fetch, run fast or do anything.
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