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Radio Is in the Ears of Consumers Planning Electronics Purchases.

Consumer electronics is one of many retail product categories that has returned to pre-pandemic sales levels after an 11.6% year-over-year increase during 2021, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

Electronics remain a popular spending category for consumers, however, the remainder of 2022 and the holiday shopping season will be challenging and more competitive, with inflation and supply-chain issues hobbling the industry and electronics retailers.

Radio is the medium to put the right ad messages in the ears of the highly targeted audiences planning purchases of electronics, according to five representative 2021 consumer/market surveys conducted by The Media Audit.

The CTA is forecasting total 2022 TV shipments to the U.S. will decrease 15.3%, primarily because so many consumers purchased them during late 2020 and 2021 with their stimulus dollars. Laptop sales are also projected to decrease, by 10%, after a rush to purchase them by the many people working at home, who are now returning to their offices. Smart-home hardware is one of the electronics categories the CTA projects will increase sales and by 3%.

The Media Audit surveys clearly reveal Millennials as the prime target audience planning several electronics purchases during the next 12 months and who over-indexed, on average, for heavy exposure to radio (180+ minutes during an average day) for all five electronics purchases.

Sales of TVs, computers and some other electronics may be projected to decrease for all of 2022, but Millennials are bucking that trend. They also appear to be driving the forecast increase of smart-home hardware in the form of smart speakers.

Millennials are an obvious target audience for electronics as they have been communication “companions” most of their lives. They now have the household incomes to afford them and the growing households that need them.

A less obvious audience electronics retailers shouldn’t overlook are those adults who identify as LGBT+. The Media Audit’s five representative 2021 consumer/market surveys include this audience. Those who are heavily exposed to radio also over-index, on average, for four of the five electronics products. They over-index even more than Millennials for planning to buy one or more smart speakers.

A strategy that is more likely to attract LGBT+ consumers is fairly representing them in all ad messages. Multiple surveys indicate LGBT+ consumers consciously choose not to shop for specific brands or at specific retailers because of a lack of equal representation. Showing support for gender equality can be an advantage for electronic retailers and give them somewhat exclusive access to the LGBT community’s more than $1 trillion in buying power.

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