Guide 7 minutes

The Ultimate Guide to E-Commerce for The Electronics Industry

Table of contents

    The modern electronics industry

    The global electronics e-commerce market size is estimated to grow to $417 billion in 2023, and if predictions are accurate, will continue to do so exponentially in the coming years. In an industry as saturated as this one, it is necessary to stay ahead of the trends to remain competitive.

    Digitization has helped break down barriers between supply chain steps to create a more integrated, responsive, and efficient process that allows companies to better meet consumer demand in a timely manner.

    How can you make sure you’re staying ahead of the competition? In this guide, we’re highlighting the biggest trends to be aware of, including the challenges and opportunities of the electronics industry supply chain today. A little later, we also provide the tools and assessment materials you might need to determine your next steps.

    Electronics industry trends

    Before we begin with assessments or advice, it’s worth highlighting a few trends that are playing a major role in changing the landscape within the electronics industry.

    Industry 4.0

    The Smart Factory of Tomorrow is quickly becoming a reality today as manufacturers adopt new technologies to achieve more efficient production and deliver higher quality products. Autonomous robots, co-bots (robots that collaborate with humans), and sensors are commonplace in Smart Factories, where they help collect data and task activity information required to optimize production in real-time.

    In today’s modern factory, machines have become increasingly connected and data-driven. Future development and application of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), AI and machine learning, 3D printing, robotics, and factory drones are all paving the way for new and incredibly advanced processes.

    5G technology

    The advent of 5G technology has resulted in more access to faster internet. This improvement in data transfer speed has ensured the migration of e-commerce to mobile-first is only growing. Organizations can also expect higher expectations surrounding reliability on their web stores, as well as higher expectations surrounding UX during the actual purchase experience.

    Sustainable technology

    Buyer demand has also shifted to more sustainable, ethical production, sourcing and delivery practices. This puts renewed pressure on organizations offering e-commerce to be transparent about socially conscious processes.

    According to research group VTT, the environmental impact caused by flexible electronics can be reduced by as much as 90% with the right efforts. As more brands begin to realize they need the buy-in of socially conscious buyers, practices will begin evolving to account for the same.

    Internet of things and smarter everything

    IoT is expected to encourage changes across a huge range of technological industries, applications and devices. This will most likely result in an increase in demand, for a wide variety of components such as a field bus systems, cabling for data and information channeling, electrical motos, and software.

    As the connected generation continues to grow, electronic companies will be looking to further engage customers through VR, AR, and AI, and they will be integrating mobile devices as the central hub in the IoT in an attempt to lengthen replacement cycles.

    Quiz: How does your current e-commerce platform measure up?

    Find out if you’re lagging behind, on the right path, or trailblazing when it comes to digital transformation and e-commerce offerings with our assessment.

    Electronics industry supply chain challenges and opportunities

    The electronics industry is constantly evolving, and it’s specific complexities can give rise to a number of both challenges and opportunities in the context of e-commerce. Since most electronics organizations rely on a global supply chain that spans production, manufacturing, and distribution, it is important to be conscious of how these impact buyers.

    Factors such as raw material shortage, lead time variability, cost, and margin pressures, as well as intellectual property protection all need to be accounted for when selling products online. B2B e-commerce specifically relies on reliability and accuracy, making it especially important for organizations in the electronics industry to be as careful as possible when it comes to their choice of tooling for efficient web stores.

    True integration with the ERP can help offset some of these risks, since this enables real-time updates and customer-centricity from your organization’s core source of truth. Using this type of tooling can also unlock a host of potential opportunities for your organization, from digital transformation to beyond.

    Common hurdles and opportunities for electronics e-commerce

    So what are the challenges that modern electronic businesses like yours are up against?

    • Short product lifecycles with frequent feature changes
    • Multiple partners across a global supply chain network
    • High integration speed for mergers, acquisitions, and supplier integration
    • Counterfeiting
    • Changing consumer behavior
    • Constant competitor price changes
    • New products with high demand
    • Pressure to set yourself apart from the competition and stay relevant in a broad, saturated market
    • Low margins
    • High competition

    Luckily, for everyone, there’s a golden opportunity. By embracing digital transformation and continuing to develop your e-commerce strategy, you’re looking at a myriad of benefits, including:

    • Better data-driven decisions and increased transparency
    • Higher product and service quality
    • Lower inventory and warehousing costs
    • Reduced costs
    • Lower risk and complexity
    • Increased supply chain management flexibility
    • Faster order-to-cash process
    • Lower logistics and transportation costs
    • Higher margins

    Learn more about our e-commerce solution for the electronics industry.