Last month, Team Ally joined thousands of tech enthusiasts at the 51st annual Consumer Electronics Show. Other than a two hour power outage on Wednesday, CES 2018 did not disappoint. If you didn’t have the chance to make it out to Las Vegas, don’t worry. Our team did the heavy lifting (and miles of exhibit walking) to uncover the top tech trends brand manufacturers should take away from the show.

Brands Are Looking to Diversify Their Amazon Strategy

Per usual, the eCommerce giant played a starring role in our conversations at the show. Amazon has opened major doors for brands looking to sell their products online but has also introduced a new set of challenges for brand manufacturers. As brands become more reliant on this channel, Amazon is gaining leverage, leading to lower margins and less control. In the year ahead, we expect to see brands reevaluating their Amazon strategy in an effort to gain more control over branding and pricing on the channel.

Customer Experience Reigns Supreme

Brands looking to stay on the growth curve will need to find a way to prioritize and improve customer experience in 2018. We particularly enjoyed the ‘Every Company is a Tech Company’ breakout session lead by U.S. News & World Report Editor, Brian Kelly. The majority of the conversation centered around how modern brands can create engaging customer experiences, regardless of their industry. One thing CES made abundantly clear – brands opting to bury their heads in the sand and avoid digital transformation will inevitably fall behind.

International Brands Are Turning to the US

CES 2018 attracted international brands both large and small, many of whom shared similar sentiments about establishing a larger presence in the US this year. With the rise of Millennial spending power and diversified product preferences, many international brands are beginning to recognize that a US product launch could be their gateway to success. International commerce is on the rise, and CES 2018 was the perfect reminder.
“International attendance was stronger than last year, which is amazing due to the strength of the US dollar and the drop in international business travel to the US. CES is truly a global event, proven year after year.” – Karen Chupka, Senior Vice President at CES

Concern Over MAP Enforcement is Growing

Price erosion continues to be a major area of concern for brand manufacturers. As much as we love technology, it has undoubtedly lowered the barrier to entry for those looking to sell online. Manufacturers are feeling the effects of sellers (some authorized, some not) lowering prices below MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing). As eCommerce continues to gain traction, this problem will only grow. To maintain brand value, manufacturers need to have a strategy in place for enforcing MAP, looking out for violations and identifying unauthorized sellers in real time.

More Manufacturers Are Prioritizing Direct to Consumer

We had the awesome opportunity of connecting with brand manufacturers from across the globe at CES 2018. Meeting after meeting, one thing became abundantly clear – brands have taken notice of the enormous market opportunity of DTC (Direct to Consumer) and are ready to shift their selling strategies to capitalize on its revenue and profit potential.
If you’re interested in learning more about how selling direct to consumer can take your brand to the next level in 2018, reach out to our team of eCommerce experts today.