Challenging new market dynamics… and opportunities as IFA 2019 opens its gates

This year’s IFA opening press conference saw Hans-Joachim Kamp, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH, outlining a highly challenging market dynamic facing the sector as this year’s show opens its gates.

Kamp stated that during 2019, IFA’s key markets are not developing in lockstep: “For consumer electronics, the industry expects global sales of €740bn, a decline of around 1.8%. In contrast, the global market for household appliances is growing strongly. Market researchers expect small electrical appliances to grow at a pace of around 9.4% to just under €90bn, while sales of large electrical appliances will grow 2.2% to just under €182bn.

A total sales volume of more than one trillion euros – €1.011tn to be precise – is forecast for the global market for technical consumer goods. Despite the difficult context of trade wars, Brexit and a global economic slowdown, overall the global market appears to be stable. However, all these factors, says Kamp, make it challenging to reliably forecast future market developments.

Analysts GfK have released a number of important surveys in time for IFA. One of the main findings of the global technical consumer goods market survey published this week is that the “significance of experiences driving purchases and powering the market is becoming more important”. The survey names five trends that are driving markets: performance, simplification, premium (pamper me), borderless shopping, and developing economies.

According to the GfK FutureBuy study, 65% of survey respondents agreed with the statement: “The consumer feels more in control than ever before when choosing the best products”. The same study reveals that 53% of consumers appreciate experiences more than possessions.

Nevin Francis, GfK expert for the TCG industry explains: “Key trends like performance features delivering rich experiences; products simplifying our busy lives, and certain premium products, which are a reflection of the consumer’s aspirations – are all resulting in rich experiences. Whatever the reason for choosing to buy a product, being able to purchase it on any channel, from any location at any time of day or night is equally essential – hence the unstoppable rise of borderless shopping.”

With its growing order volume, IFA will continue to drive growth in international and national markets.