Popular Web Service Applies Artificial Intelligence to Track and Predict CE Shopping Trends for 40 Popular Categories
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – October 29, 2008 – Retrevo®, the first matchmaker for people and electronics, today introduced Retrevo PulseTM – the heartbeat of trends for consumer electronics and gadgets. The Retrevo Pulse consists of the CE Price IndexTM, CE Demand IndexTM and a real-time product buzz ticker. The indices track daily price and demand trends for consumer electronics by product category and in aggregate based on data for more than 4,000 products across 40 categories, such as HDTV’s, digital cameras and laptop computers.
Retrevo provides a unique, simple and fun experience for buying and using consumer electronics products. Powered by patent-pending artificial intelligence-based technology, Retrevo aggregates, comprehends and summarizes relevant CE product information, and then presents the data in a palatable, visual format that anyone can understand and use.
Pricing data included in the new CE Price Index is gathered by Retrevo from numerous sources across the Web. Retrevo analyzes general product interest patterns of its more than 2.5 million monthly shoppers to generate its CE Demand Index. Both indices are available to everyone on the Retrevo Pulse page, which includes graphs of historical data going back to January of this year, as well as real-time tickers displaying the top brands, product categories and products people are engaging with most on Retrevo at any given moment.
“We track vast amounts of CE data on a daily basis, and we’re always looking for new ways to provide people with valuable and impartial CE information,” said Vipin Jain, founder and CEO of Retrevo. “Making pricing and demand data generally available is the latest way Retrevo is helping people be more confident, informed buyers and users of CE products – whether you’re a causal CE user or enthusiast,” added Jain. “This is the first time that we know of that such comprehensive consumer electronics data has been made widely available to the public.”
Key Trends from CE Price Index
The aggregate CE Price Index shows that overall consumer electronics prices have trended within a 10% price range through 2008. Prices for categories such as laptops, cell phones and game consoles have remained fairly level, but watch for discounting if the economy continues to weaken. Television prices, which increased throughout the first quarter when manufacturers introduced new models and features, have since declined nearly 30% off their peak in spring. The GPS category has also seen declining prices since the beginning of the year – down 20% since January.
Price declines for TVs and GPS receivers show no sign of leveling off, which may indicate that prices for these products could continue to come down more heading into the holiday season.
Key Trends from CE Demand Index
The CE Demand Index is considered to be a leading indicator since the data used for this index look at how interested consumers are in particular product categories, and how likely they are to make a purchase in the future. The main trend, of course, is how the recent economic crisis has affected interest in CE products generally, as well as specific product categories.
The Index shows aggregate demand (represented in the index as a dollar value) across 40 product categories has weakened sharply over the last few weeks as recession fears have intensified, at a time when demand should start rising ahead of the holiday season. Digital cameras and GPSs appear to be getting hit hardest as consumers tighten their belts. Interest in both digital cameras and GPSs, for example, started dropping in late summer and hasn’t yet recovered, whereas historically these categories would start to see increasing interest heading into the holidays.
Interest in TVs had been quite strong and rising all year. Industry observers have been expecting TV sales to be one of the bright spots this holiday season, driven partly by the fact that many people would use the FCC’s digital TV switchover as a reason to buy new TVs. Over the last few weeks, however, the Demand Index for TVs weakened as worries about the financial crisis and possible recession have spread. Watch the CE Demand Index for TVs in the coming weeks to see if the downward trend continues or begins to level. The trends for TVs, digital cameras and GPS receivers may foretell weaker sales for these typically hot holiday categories.
Yet, some categories are doing ok. Interest in laptops, for example, has been rising all year, and continues to be relatively strong compared to other categories heading into the holiday season.
To view price and demand graphs for specific product categories, or to learn more about the CE Price and CE Demand Indices, visit www.retrevo.com/pulse/ce-pulse.
Retrevo is the first matchmaker for people and electronics that makes buying and using electronics products simple and fun. Retrevo is the first to use artificial intelligence technology to analyze, classify and summarize all relevant information on electronics products from both industry and social media sources including publishers, manufacturers, retailers, social networks, blogs, user reviews and even inside Adobe PDF manuals. Consumers are presented with objective product evaluations and answers in visually simple and actionable forms that give them the confidence and control throughout their entire electronics products relationship lifecycle. For more information, please visit http://www.retrevo.com.
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