Convenience is the New Battleground


The COVID-19 pandemic, and its far-reaching impact on the consumer electronics industry, has created an unprecedented disruption that is hindering analysts’ ability to accurately predict what is next for that industry. One of the key areas where customers are showing is convenience-led purchasing patterns.

Some might argue that a couple of years ago consumers were only looking to find a good bargain in the shape of a generous rebate or an attractive spot discount, where lower price points were deemed to be a key driving factor. This is no longer the case. According to Deloitte’s Bobby Stephens, convenience has become a priority for consumers. In fact, more than 50% of consumers have reported spending more on convenience to get what they needed.

Consumer convenience can be presented in different shapes and forms. It can be in the form of a contactless shopping experience, or frequent inventory availability, or even on-demand fulfillment. The ease of acquiring a product is of high influence on the need to buy the product itself. This is forcing retailers to pour huge investments into improving their logistics experience to provide consumers with unmatched convenience in different options, such as order online and pick-up from a nearby store, same-day delivery for many goods, and even instant provisioning for different types of software solutions and subscriptions.

Dilute large upfront pricing barriers

 According to Statista’s Simon O’Dea, a smartphone’s replacement cycle in the US was estimated to be between 2-3 years, where the average cost of a smartphone was around $600-650. Such high prices are one of the reasons that are urging large retailers, such as BestBuy and Target in the US, to start new lines of business and offer credit and financing services to take down high price point blockers. This is helping create additional space in the consumer’s wallet and enabling these retailers to cross-sell value-added services such as insurance, repair services, and even SaaS solutions to increase their average order value as well as margins.

Some of the retailers are also taking initiative to start complementing lines of business, such as aggregated telecommunications and connectivity services. This is helping several large retailers, like Cdiscount in France, to improve their consumer convenience. Their customers can easily buy a financed device that comes prepackaged with data, connectivity, repair, and insurance services at a small two-digit monthly subscription fee.

Expand beyond standalone product selling

Following their footsteps in creating an ecosystem of complementary services around their anchor products, consumer electronics retailers are now switching their focus towards innovating to succeed. They are finding new ways to increase their customer retention as well as average lifetime value. The answer to this puzzled equation is to offer bundled recurring services options to their consumers, such as repair and insurance services, installation services, and even software solutions and services.

One of the most recent innovations is AO World’s washing machine as a service model. They are offering washing machines as a service in the UK at £2 a week. The £2 price point included the machine’s rental, insurance, and repair fees. And if in case a machine malfunctions, they will replace it at no cost. This is helping AO World significantly increase their customer convenience as well as margins, where the average retail price of a regular washing machine in the UK is around £250. This model helped them net an average of £550 per machine over a 5-year span, almost double the original retail price. The as a service model has shown retailers the way to drive growth and demand led by convenience and flexibility.

Become an open marketplace and offer diversified services

As retailers realized that being product-centric is not getting them anywhere, the race was more geared towards the fastest pace a retailer can have to expand their portfolio and become a one-stop-shop for all of their consumer needs. This included adding both, their own services along with external value-added partner offerings that complemented their portfolio. A good example is the opportunity Target has when partnering with AllState Insurance, where all of their consumers receive recommendations for device-based warranty services upon checking out. With this level of convenience, Target consumers were able to get financed devices bundled with warranty and support services in a monthly subscription-based manner, from one single entity.

With convenience being top of mind, model helped their consumers better define their need and understand what are the most suitable appliances that would fit in their space. Most importantly, Darty listed their own as well as other partner-delivered services on their marketplace to ensure that they maximize convenience for their customers and offer them the best of both worlds, from one unified marketplace experience.

Maximize your customer convenience

Metrics of success for consumer electronics retailers are changing post-COVID-19, where the path to success is not paved by having more physical stores or products. The path to success is changing based on a retailer’s ability to change and keep up with the increased market demand while considering consumer convenience. A consumer’s urge to buy a certain product is fueled by flexibility as well as convenience, and both proved to be key driving elements behind buying decisions in the B2C electronics retail market. The necessity for retailers to change and become more agile to provide consumers with the highest means of convenience is becoming imperative and unavoidable.

Get in touch with CloudBlue to learn how we are helping consumer electronics retailers offer a wider array of offerings through bundled solutions, device as a service offerings, and open marketplaces.  For additional information, read how consumer electronics retailers can achieve even greater growth by catalog expansion and transforming into a subscription-based business.

Mike Jennett, Director of CloudBlue Platform Strategy, is an accomplished business and technology executive. With a deep focus on product development and go-to-market strategy, he plays a pivotal role driving strategic growth and market expansion. Mike’s career is characterized by his adeptness in driving technological advancements and his commitment to leading digital transformations with experience including IDC where he was VP of the Mobility and Digital Transformation IEP practices, and HP where he held numerous leadership roles. Mike’s expertise is also reflected in his published works and contributions to multiple tech publications. Mike holds a B.A. from California Polytechnic University.
Having previously to strategic product management, agile transformations, and user experience in CloudBlue, Taylor Giddens heads the Services & Solutions team where he ensures smooth delivery, operations and solution growth for our partners and customers.

The team includes technical account management, managed services, support, custom solution development, and customer enablement.

Prior to CloudBlue, his resume boasts leadership of some of the world’s largest companies during their digital transformations and marketplace launches. Taylor is a practitioner of servitude leadership when it comes to enabling his team to drive positive outcomes on the road to operational excellence.
Laurens van Alphen, a visionary entrepreneur with over 29 years of internet technology expertise, serves as Director of Technical Managed Services at CloudBlue, responsible for Operations and Delivery of CloudBlue SaaS.

As a Dutch racing champion and car enthusiast, he brings the same drive to the tech realm, steering Keenondots from a managed hosting firm to a global cloud enablement leader. Laurens is celebrated for his outcome-driven leadership, deep industry insight, and passion for balancing business innovation with client engagement.
Lincoln Lincoln is CloudBlue’s Head of Global Sales; having been with the company since November 2017. Leading CloudBlue’s global go-to-market organization, he’s responsible for driving accelerated and sustained mutual growth with CloudBlue’s customers and partners, as well as forming new customer partnerships across the Vendor and Provider ecosystem. As part of CloudBlue’s leadership team he is responsible the organisation’s revenue and continued market leadership by delivering and supporting products, services and solutions to organizations in established and new markets around the world.

Before joining CloudBlue, Lincoln was AppDirect’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific & Japan, responsible for forming, building and leading AppDirect’s business and operations across the APJ geography. He built and led AppDirect’s fastest growing and highest performing region globally within 3yrs.

Before joining AppDirect, Lincoln was EMC’s Practice Manager, Cloud Service Providers, APJ, working with the leading Service Providers to maximise their Cloud Business presence & market success. Lincoln joined EMC in 2007, and has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, having been based out of Singapore, Australia and the UK. Prior to EMC, he was in range of sales and channel positions at Symantec and VERITAS.

Lincoln has an Honours degree in Business Administration from Kingston University in the United Kingdom.
Brent Clooney is the Executive Director and Associate General Counsel for Ingram Micro Inc., and lead counsel for CloudBlue.

Brent is a Canadian based corporate lawyer with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic legal advisor both in private practice and as in-house counsel to large multi-national companies. Prior to joining Ingram Micro in 2008, he worked at a well-respected corporate law firm in Toronto, Canada and later served as general counsel for Toshiba Canada. During his 15-year tenure at Ingram Micro, he has held positions of increasing complexity and responsibility, and since being promoted to his current role in 2022, Brent is the legal lead for both Ingram Micro’s Canadian and global cloud businesses, as well as CloudBlue.

Brent holds a law degree (LL.B.) from Queen’s University, a Psychology degree (B.A. Honours) from Lakehead University, and has been admitted to the bar in Ontario, Canada since 2002.
Anurag serves as the Head of Product Management for CloudBlue and is responsible for product direction and driving innovation. His leadership has been marked by a keen focus on customer needs, growing the ISV ecosystem, and ensuring the continual evolution of CloudBlue’s product portfolio.

Anurag joined Ingram Micro in 2017 and has been instrumental in, positioning CloudBlue as an industry leading monetization platform for MSP’s, Telco’s and Distributors. Previously Anurag worked at Oracle and Microsoft where he managed many technology projects and programs.
As VP of Engineering of CloudBlue, Rony oversees the development and engineering efforts of the company. He is a recognized leader with more than 25 years of experience in Technology and Product.

Prior to joining CloudBlue Rony lead the R&D efforts at Tripwire acquired by Thoma Bravo, and Cedexis acquired by Citrix. Rony is a leader with extensive experience in transforming both complex technology problems into products that customers love and disjointed organizations into agile high performing teams.
Coen is a distinguished leader and entrepreneur in the realm of cloud technology. Currently serving as CEO of Keenondots and the Global Director of CloudBlue SaaS. He is passionate about driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and leading high-performing teams to achieve transformative results.

With a background as Managing Director of INTO Cloud and a pivotal role as Director of Products of KPN, he brings a wealth of experience in steering organizations through the complexities of the digital landscape.

Beyond the boardroom, Coen is a marathon enthusiast, demonstrating endurance and discipline in pursuit of both professional and personal goals.
Alyson has over twenty years of experience in demand generation, marketing automation and data management. She is responsible for leading the strategy and direction of the company’s brand, performance, and digital marketing.

Prior to CloudBlue, Alyson served as Ingram Micro’s Director of Global Business Intelligence Marketing Automation driving channel partner campaigns. Her tenure in marketing leadership at prestigious companies such as Western Digital, Ocean Institute celebrates redefining marketing campaigns and building top performing teams based on trust, experimentation, and results.

Alyson resides with her husband and three children in Orange County and is an active volunteer and donor within her children’s sports and education programs.

Darek Tasak is leading Customer Success & Value Creation for CloudBlue. In his role, he looks after CloudBlue customers globally during the entire lifecycle of our relationship: from the initial on-boarding, through in-life account management, always ensuring they build successful businesses leveraging our technology. Additionally, he is also in charge of Partnership & Alliances, as well as Pricing Management for everything we commercialize.

Before CloudBlue, Darek managed Ingram Micro’s Services division for hi-tech customers in Europe & APAC. His prior experiences include also launching and leading pan-European services business for TDSynnex, as well as strategy consulting with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

As President of CloudBlue, Uddhav is a distinguished leader and visionary with nearly two decades of platform-building experience. He is an industry leader in digital commerce, the subscription economy, and monetization platforms.

Notably, at SAP, he spearheaded the transformation of their platform business into a multi-cloud platform-as-a-service, offering enterprise and developer-friendly subscription models. At Pure Storage, he championed the efforts to successfully disrupt the storage industry by creating revolutionary Storage-as-a-service, AIOps-as-a-service, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-service offerings with cutting-edge features and establishing a sophisticated subscription commerce infrastructure that is channel-friendly.

At CloudBlue, Uddhav guides and empowers businesses to rethink their monetization strategies by unlocking the power of digital ecosystems and marketplaces. CloudBlue provides enterprises with a mature multi-tier, multi-channel marketplace and monetization platform that enables usage-based subscription models and global delivery of Anything-as-a-Service solutions. Uddhav has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the subscription economy through his innovative thinking and impactful contributions.

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