As the 28th edition of the largest shopping event—Dubai Shopping Festival— has concluded, participant retailers are actively monitoring one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic industries— consumer electronics. As UAE key players of the segment agree, it doesn’t show any signs of fading.
One of the strategic partners of the Dubai Shopping Festival, Jumbo Electronics, operating in the UAE for about 50 years, has witnessed massive changes in consumer behaviour and purchasing patterns.
“Consumer electronics is one of the mainstays of the UAE retail market, which accounted for anywhere from AED13-16 billion in sales last year,” said CEO of Jumbo Electronics, Vikas Chadha.
“The demands of customers are constantly changing and evolving. Today, we’re seeing customers increasingly looking for smarter, connected products which can be operated remotely or through mobile apps.”
One of the salient factors to watch is what shopping channels consumers rely on. It has been observed that, despite the e-commerce market growing exponentially, the demand to ‘try before you buy’ still holds, as UAE shoppers prefer to test out the latest tech gimmick before purchasing.
This especially applies to large appliances like crystal—clear televisions and the latest surround sound systems— as shoppers cannot forego experiencing these products which prompts them to visit a shop.
“Today, consumers are more accustomed to online shopping and are placing orders for products that traditionally mandated a store visit. From large home appliances to expensive smartphones, consumers purchase products online for the sake of convenience,” Mr Chadha noted.
“However, the traditional market is better off than last year, and we expect it to outperform current forecasts. One of the reasons for this positive turn is the increased footfall in the malls during festival periods like DSF, and throughout weekends, which is translating to higher sales.”
In the consumer electronics market chip development and the latest super-fast broadband has accelerated growth in smart appliances, smartphones, high-end TVs and the gaming sector – with demand reaching record levels as consumers look to make the most of those technological advancements.
Nevertheless, demand for other key segments is diminishing. “While no consumer products were completely wiped off the shelves in 2022, PCs and laptops have seen a decline in demand.”
But, offsetting the downturn, new advanced products are always emerging to propel the market into the future.
“The consumer electronics industry is continuously evolving and innovating as new technologies develop, such as artificial intelligence and Metaverse,” concluded Jumbo’s CEO.
“The products that are an offshoot of these innovations have massive potential and will shape the industry contributing to changing consumer behaviour and demands. This means there is now a fast-growing market for products like VR headsets, glasses and accessories, especially among early adopters.”