The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) in its CE Accessories at Retail study reported that total sales of consumer electronics (CE) accessories (excluding batteries and blank media) will keep rising this year.
CEA estimates sales to improve by $13 million in this category due to the popularity of headphones, ear buds and tablet and smartphone accessories. The report noted that 59 percent of online consumers surveyed purchased CE accessories in 2013.
The most popular items purchased by online were ear buds (42 percent); wireless phone chargers (41 percent); wireless phone cases (32 percent) and wireless mice (30 percent). Along with extra memory cards for digital imaging devices and over-the-ear headphones, these items remain consumers' most commonly planned accessory purchases for 2014.
The CEA research also showed that online consumers prefer going to physical stores to shop instead of shopping online. It said 66 percent of online consumers would go to physical stores to shop for, learn about and purchase accessories.
Accessories with the highest attachment rates were those for video game devices (72 percent), wireless phones (66 percent), and computing devices (61 percent).
Consumers that bought accessories online, however, said online offers the best prices. Online is also convenient and allows easier browsing and comparison shopping. Only a small percentage of consumers use mobile devices to shop for accessories (seven percent) or actually buy items (two percent).
Consumers surveyed say quality was the most important factor when choosing CE accessories. Their needs and brand names also influenced their buying decisions.
CEA is a technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies are members of CEA.