“two out of three Americans have lost interest in a technology product because it seemed too complex to set up or operate.” Paul Zeven – CEO of Phillips Electronics North America This article is written to help address a gap in the consumer electronics industry.

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Educating our customers today is the single most important facet of the industry today. According to a study by the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) in 2007 the forecast for sales of consumer electronics will be $155,202,000. This figure is over the 2006 total of $145,744,000.

With all of the money that America is spending on consumer electronics each year, more and more of the products being purchased are becoming increasingly complex to understand and to operate, leaving the average consumer confused and frustrated.

As an industry, from manufacturers all the way down to the newest retail sales person and all of those in the business of consumer electronics should examine their level of product knowledge and understanding. If there are areas that the staff is lacking, it should be addressed and brought to a higher level, so that they can deliver accurate information to the millions of consumers spending their hard earned dollars on these products.

Technology is ever changing and consumers have never been more interested or involved than they are today. The Consumer Electronics Association has recently launched a campaign to educate consumers everywhere and to help give them the resources and information needed to not only purchase, but to understand all of the available technologies today.

In another study by the CEA, 77% of consumers who are purchasing electronics are spending under $3,500. 22% are spending from $3,501 to $25,000 and the remaining percentage of consumers purchasing consumer electronics are spending over $25,001. Understanding the customer and their needs relating to technology and products is paramount in importance to everyone in the industry.

After hearing sales people tell customers things like, “If you don’t buy this power center, you can’t get high definition TV” or when a customer asked the sales person “Why are plasma TV’s so expensive?” and the sales person responds with “Because it’s so hard to find donors”…I knew there was a problem. It’s comforting to see the CEA taking such a positive stance and being proactive in beginning to educate the average consumer and to provide them with the knowledge they need to make sound purchasing decisions and to help ensure that consumers will be happier with the products they buy.

If the customer truly has a better understanding of technology and of the products available, it can only make the job of people in the industry easier. And don’t we all want our work life to be just a little easier?