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OP-ED: The new normal in consumer electronics

  • Published at 01:46 pm August 5th, 2020

The pandemic has changed the demand for various goods, like entertainment systems and refrigerators

Getting the news of what is happening around the world means to cook restaurant-style meals at home, and finding ways to stay entertained while staying home, having comfortable living arrangements, and a storage of food to avoid frequent trips for groceries during the lockdown. These are a few roles handled by the Consumer Electronics (CE) sector during the pandemic. 

Samsung, as a Global Electronics Leader in Bangladesh, has played an essential part along with other brands to provide these means to users around the nation. In a matter of few months, most economies around the world have changed, including Bangladesh -- offices and schools have been shut down, malls and restaurants are closed, and people are staying home to maintain social distancing. On top of it, everything has shifted to the digital world -- work, education, banking, shopping, food, groceries, health care, etc. 

The Government of Bangladesh, along with numerous companies, is trying to incorporate effective measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, and provide necessary commodities to the vulnerable population of the country, who are the most affected by the enforcement of social distancing. Among all these, the CE sector is not perceived to be a necessary component during a crisis. However, with the era of the new normal, elements of emergency have changed, and CE now has become an essential component of the current time. 

The lockdown has created a rise in the demand for entertainment while staying updated about current affairs -- meaning that the dependency on televisions has increased significantly by being an integral part of most households. Additionally, the focus of the government on the Digital Bangladesh path has led the country to have high-speed internet, which has ultimately increased the demand and usage of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and many others. 

According to BBC, Netflix got nearly 16 million new accounts in the first three months of 2020. That is almost double the number of new users it has seen in the last few months of 2019. In Bangladesh, most of the people watch content on YouTube, either through mobile devices or Smart TVs. According to Global Voices, the people of Bangladesh have been using 50% more internet data now than usual. Furthermore, most people are watching videos on both Facebook and YouTube in Bangla too. 

Most households around the country, especially in Dhaka, are dependent on their household help for numerous chores, including cleaning, washing clothes, cooking, and many more. Now, movement restriction of the house help has increased the demand for automated consumer electronics products, such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and microwave ovens. Previously, some of these products, like washing machines, were perceived as luxury products, but now with the new normal era, this has become a regular product for a household. 

Moreover, most restaurants across the country are closed, or people are avoiding public places to reduce the risks of Covid-19. This is providing people with new opportunities to create new dishes in their homes. And with the help of CE, home appliances like food processors, microwaves, and conventional ovens, people are quickly learning to produce restaurant-style meals from their homes. 

The need for refrigerators has also changed. Most people are trying to avoid frequent visits to grocery stores. Thus, the demand for high-quality refrigerators has grown so that people can easily store food for a more extended period. 

The pandemic is changing the world. And during this transformation, people are becoming restless and looking for ways to keep themselves entertained and stress-free. Along with various other industries, Samsung (CE) has been playing a vital role in increasing both the comfort and the convenience of the people. Furthermore, the CE sector has also been evolving along with time and demand. 

Now, this is the new normal for consumer electronics.

Saad Bin Hasan is Head of Sales, Samsung CE Biz.

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