Personalization has become an important aspect of business for e-retailers seeking to stand out amid heavy competition. Experts say customization helps define a positive online shopping experience, although implementation does not guarantee success.
The public got its first peek last week at some of the flashy consumer-electronics items coming to stores as companies demonstrated gadgets including HDTVs, audio systems and lighting controls at Digital Downtown, a CEA co-sponsored expo. Among the new products on display: Hitachi's Director's Series 50-inch plasma TV; a pair of iPod docking systems with integrated speakers from Philips; and Lutron's new light-switch design with LED designs in three colors.
Online retail sales will hit $146 billion in 2008, up 14.3% over last year, according to eMarketer. Consumer electronics and computers, two traditionally strong categories, could see a slowdown in sales, however. More than a third of survey respondents plan to spend less on entertainment devices and products.
The planned June 30 closing of a 30-year-old music store in downtown Brisbane, Australia, is just one example of how online music downloads have affected the overall market. "Retail stores like mine will probably cease to exist in the future because the distribution of physical products is on the decline," the owner said.
DPL Labs has given its seal of approval to eight HDMI cables from DirectConnect, marking the first time the testing group has certified HDMI connectors. More than a handful of consumer-electronics companies are supporting DPL certification process, which was formed almost a year ago to help consumers and retailers evaluate HDMI cables.