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Electronics brands set to expand direct-to-consumer sales this year – using social alongside more established channels

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Three quarters of consumer electronics brands plan to expand their direct-to-consumer sales channels this year, new research suggests. 

Many are looking to broaden their use of social channels such as Instagram and TikTok alongside their more established use of Amazon, a ChannelAdvisor study has found. 

ChannelAdvisor questioned 300 decision makers at large electronics brands – both UK and international businesses – with a responsibility for sales and marketing via Censuswide and found that many are adding new direct channels to those they have used for longer.

Some 69% of those questioned said Amazon remained a key channel, but others are now distributing via other online marketplaces (71%) such as eBay and 70% are now using social media channels. But two-thirds (65%) said that it was hard to keep product information consistent, with three-quarters saying that requirements for information varied across channels. 

Other challenges include unauthorised ‘grey market’ sellers who may acquire stock sold off as excess by distributors, named as an issue by 55% of respondents, and dealing with returns (52%). 

“Amazon has long been the top dog for selling consumer electronics, but these latest results show brands are harnessing the power of social media as well,” says Vladi Shlesman, managing director, EMEA at ChannelAdvisor. “The stats will provide plenty of food for thought for Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, as Twitter is one of the few social platforms not to offer a direct sales option. 

“Consumer electronics brands need to be selling where their consumers are buying, and with so many options, a multi-channel strategy is inevitable. However this can bring complexity and challenges with consistency, both in terms of product information and brand experience. It’s also more important than ever for brands to think carefully about their channel strategy to ensure that they focus on channels that are profitable. Brands embracing direct-to-consumer channels is not a new phenomenon, but the expertise to achieve a seamless experience is often underestimated.”

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