When it comes to online sales of microwave ovens, Sharp is best positioned to succeed in what is becoming an increasingly important channel for the category.
According to a study by e-commerce analytics company Clavis Insight, Sharp topped its leading online competitors — Cuisinart, Frigidaire, Panasonic and GE — in five key metrics: availability, image presence, content, keyword search and customer ratings.
With 17 percent of market share by volume in 2014, according to Euromonitor, Sharp leads the pack with strong breadth and depth of distribution at three key online appliance retailers. Specifically, at least 15 Sharp models were offered by Amazon and Walmart.com, while Target’s e-tail site carried 33.
What’s more, the brand outperformed its peers on both search performance and image presence, offering multiple product views on a large majority of its product pages. Clavis believes that with a high average selling price of $287, providing multiple images at various angles is critical to closing the sale, as it allows consumers to more fully consider their purchases.
However, Sharp’s units dropped the ball on consumer reviews: over 35 percent of the product listings had no ratings at all, and about half the placements at Target.com and Amazon were bereft of consumer comments.
Samsung ranked sixth in the study, behind GE, while No. 1 majap maker Whirlpool, with 9 percent of total market share in 2014 according to Euromonitor, missed the Top 25 cut altogether due to its limited online distribution.