A report published by Gfk also said that telecommunications segment, especially smartphones, accounted for around €440 billion in sales during 2018
The global market for technical consumer goods (TCG) exceeded the one-trillion mark for the first time in 2018 with sales of €1.01 trillion. This is a four per cent increase over the previous year. The product segments of telecommunications (+7 per cent), small domestic appliances (+7 per cent), consumer electronics/photo (+6 per cent), and information technology/office equipment (+1 per cent) all contributed to this growth in sales. Global sales from major domestic appliances, however, fell slightly by one per cent.
For 2019, GfK is expecting a two per cent increase in technical consumer goods sales on the global market to around €1.03 trillion. These are GfK’s current results on the occasion of the CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
Markus Kick, GfK expert on technical consumer goods, explains, “Globally, technical consumer goods achieved sales of more than €1 trillion for the first time in 2018. This is a real milestone for trade and industry. The areas of telecommunications, small domestic appliances and consumer electronics proved to be the biggest drivers of sales. We are seeing a trend toward premium products in almost all segments. Consumers are also placing even more value on connectivity and convenience. Based on this trend, GfK is also expecting solid sales growth in 2019 with an increase of two percent.”
With a sales share of 42 per cent, Asia-Pacific continued to defend its position on the technical consumer goods market in 2018 as well. A further 25 per cent of sales was achieved in Europe, around 20 per cent in North America, seven per cent in Latin America, and six per cent in Middle East/Turkey/Africa.
Consumer electronics/photo: Trend for premium smart devices
Global sales in the consumer electronics and photo segment rose in 2018 by nearly six per cent to €153 billion. This segment alone accounts for around 15 per cent of all TCG sales.
There is also a trend for premium products in consumer electronics. High-end TV sets with screen sizes of at least 50″ produced significant growth in sales. In the premium segment, OLED TV sets continue to increase in popularity. Headphones and portable Bluetooth speakers proved to be significant drivers of growth in the audio market. Sales of entertainment electronics improved particularly in Latin America (+24 per cent). Sales in Asia/Pacific, Europe and Middle East/Turkey/Africa increased by between four and five per cent.
The photo segment was not able to break its negative trend and lost a further five per cent of sales in 2018. Globally, cameras and accessories achieved €15 billion in sales. Positive aspects set the tone for high-end cameras. In 2019, GfK expects to see slightly less growth in sales of around four per cent on the global consumer electronics and photo market.
Premium devices support developments in sales
With a sales share of 44 per cent and a volume of around €440 billion, telecommunications was the biggest segment among technical consumer goods in 2018. Consumers now increasingly go for premium products, especially in the smartphone segment, which has enabled global sales to rise by a further seven per cent. However, the market is stagnating in terms of quantities sold.
Notwithstanding Latin America (-5 per cent), sales in 2018 increased worldwide, especially in Europe (+14 per cent) and North America (+12 per cent). However, GfK is not expecting to see any further growth in sales in 2019, but rather stable development at the same level as the previous year.
Major domestic appliances sales expected to increase again in 2019
Major domestic appliances (MDA) continued to be the second-largest segment among technical consumer goods in 2018 with sales of around €177 billion, despite a slight decrease in sales of one percent. Overall, around 17 per cent of all TCG sales last year were attributed to major domestic appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, washers or dishwashers.
Currently trending are multi-function devices and connectivity – the possibility to network devices with one another or control them using a different device.
Sales in Latin America (+6 per cent), Europe (+3 per cent), and Asia/Pacific (+2 per cent) developed positively last year. GfK is predicting further significant global growth in sales for 2019 by six per cent, which will more than compensate for the slight losses from last year.
Information technology/office equipment register positive impetus
In 2018, consumers worldwide spent around €157 billion on IT and office equipment, as well as consumables. This number is about as much as in the previous year.
In the IT segment, there is currently a demand for high-performance devices, especially in the gaming PC and gaming notebook segment. While sales in Latin America and Asia/Pacific rose slightly in 2018, they stagnated in Europe and fell in Middle East/Turkey/Africa as well as in North America.
The office equipment and consumables segment recorded a positive development. Global sales in 2018 increased by three per cent to around €16 billion, with growth primarily coming from Asia, and China in particular. In 2019, however, GfK is expecting to see a global decrease in sales of around three per cent in the information technology/office equipment segment.
Small domestic appliances: Significant growth, especially in China
Small domestic appliances (SDA) achieved global sales of around €86 billion in 2018. This is a significant increase of seven per cent. Driven by very positive demand in China, sales in Asia/Pacific increased by 13 per cent overall. In Latin America, as well as in Middle East/Turkey/Africa, sales grew by 10 per cent, while growth in Europe was recorded at seven per cent. Only in North America did sales decrease slightly, by two per cent.
Consumers are continuing to focus on the issue of “convenience”. Battery-powered handheld vacuum cleaners are particularly popular right now. GfK also sees upward trends for the global small domestic appliances market in 2019, and predicts sales growth of eight per cent.