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CEA Projects Increase in 2014 Consumer Electronics Accessories Sales

Total sales of consumer electronics (CE) accessories, excluding batteries and blank media, will continue to rise in 2014, according to new research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The report, CE Accessories at Retail, projects a slight increase of $13 million in this category, buoyed by the popularity of tablet and smartphone accessories, headphones and ear buds, raising 2014’s CE accessories sales projection to $8.5 billion.

According to the research, 59 percent of online consumers surveyed purchased CE accessories in the last year. The most popular items purchased by online consumers were ear buds (42 percent), wireless phone chargers (41 percent), wireless phone cases (32 percent) and wireless mice (30 percent). These items, along with extra memory cards for digital imaging devices and over-the-ear headphones, are consumers’ most commonly planned accessory purchases for the year ahead, as well.

The CEA research also gauged consumers’ buying behavior, reporting that the majority of online consumers surveyed (66 percent) say physical stores are the main channel they use to shop for, learn about and purchase accessories, citing convenience as their primary motivation. Those consumers who choose to buy accessories online say this option offers the best prices, convenience and enables easier browsing and comparison shopping. Only a small percentage of consumers, however, use mobile devices to shop for accessories (seven percent) or actually buy items (two percent).

Consumers surveyed say quality is the most important factor when choosing CE accessories, while need and brand name also influence their decisions. Among the other findings of the CE Accessories at Retail research:

  • Seventy-seven percent of online consumers say they plan ahead for their accessory purchases, rather than make impulse buys (23 percent);
  • Consumers who do make unplanned purchases say store displays (27 percent) have the biggest influence on their buying behavior;
  • Fifty percent of consumers buy an accessory at the same time they purchase the CE device for which it is intended;
  • Accessories with the highest attachment rates include those for video game devices (72 percent), wireless phones (66 percent), and computing devices (61 percent);
  • While purchase motivation varies by the type of CE device with which an accessory will be used, the most common reason is to replace a broken accessory (26 percent);
  • About half of consumers (48 percent) are interested in personalizing their accessories through color (67 percent) and design options (62 percent).

Additionally, about half of consumers are interested in saving money by purchasing either packages containing all accessories (52 percent) for a particular device or some other type of bundled package (42 percent). Just 19 percent, however, prefer to purchase accessories individually.

The CE Accessories at Retail study (March 2014) was administered via Internet web form between December 13 and December 20, 2013 to an online national sample of 1,029 U.S. adults who purchased a consumer electronic (CE) accessory in the past 12 months. The study was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete report is available free to CEA member companies at members.CE.org, while non-members may purchase the report at store.CE.org.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media: http://www.ce.org/social


  • CEA Winter Break
    March 18-21, 2014, Vail, CO
  • CES Unveiled SHANGHAI
    April 8, 2014, Shanghai, China
  • Digital Patriots Dinner
    April 29, 2014, Washington, DC
  • CES on the Hill
    April 30, 2014, Washington, DC
  • 2014 Technology & Standards Spring Forum
    May 19-23, 2014, Seattle, WA
  • CES Unveiled WARSAW
    June 5, 2014, Warsaw, Poland
  • CE Week
    June 23-27, 2014, New York, NY
    • CE Week Exhibits
      June 25-26, 2014, New York, NY
  • CES Unveiled SAO PAULO
    September 23, 2014, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • CEA Annual Member Meeting
    Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2014, Phoenix, AZ
  • CES Unveiled PARIS
    October 22, 2014, Paris, France
  • CES Unveiled NEW YORK
    November 11, 2014, New York, NY
  • CES Unveiled LAS VEGAS
    January 4, 2015, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2015 International CES
    January 6-9, 2015, Las Vegas, NV

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