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CE Accessories To Grow 11%: CEA

3/26/2007 10:16:00 AM Eastern

Arlington, Va. — Changes in consumer behavior and new product introductions are driving the consumer electronics accessories market forward, according to a study released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The study, CE Accessories Market: Insights and Opportunities, examined accessory product ownership, consumers’ intent to buy and the purchase process for CE accessories. CEA has forecasted that the total CE accessories market will grow 11 percent in 2007, exceeding the growth rate of the overall industry.

“The MP3 player is the perfect example of a new product that fueled an explosion of attachment products,” said Tim Herbert, CEA’ market research senior director, in a release. “Changes in consumer behavior can have an even bigger impact, however. Consumers now conduct business or manage their personal lives anywhere at anytime. This has created an entire class of accessory products designed to enhance and support this ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle. Products such as Bluetooth headsets, portable flash storage and portable speakers for MP3 players are examples of accessories created as a result of these changes.”

Accessory buyers spent an average of 15 percent of the cost of the primary CE device on accessories in 2006. Many of those purchases were made for the purpose of enhancing the functionality or performance of their primary device. For the most part, consumers consider their accessories to be necessities, according to the study.

The study also found that 82 percent of accessories buyers make their purchase some time after their primary CE purchase. Various reasons listed include having adequate time to determine what the needs are, growing attached to the product and wanting to protect it, or upcoming travel plans that require an accessory that will enable them to take their device on the road.

“Manufacturers and retailers must continue to build demand for their products by educating consumers about the enhanced functionality and performance of their devices through accessories,” said Herbert. "With the right mix of accessories, customers are more satisfied with their purchase and are less likely to return products."

The CE Accessories Market: Insights and Opportunities (March, 2007) was conducted Dec. 19-23. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies. Non-members may purchase the study for $599 ebrain.