By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Australians are tech-savvy consumers, and they’re looking for the kinds of electronics products that will fit in with their increasingly gadget-focused lifestyles.

That’s according to Sven Radavics, vice president of worldwide sales for action sports camera brand Contour. Radavics spoke to about the changes in the camera market, and the changing desires of Australian consumers who are become more tech-aware.

Targeted towards professional athletes, sports fans and hobbyists, Contour’s range of cameras are pocket-sized devices that can be mounted on surfboards, bicycles or virtually any surface to capture high-definition action video.

Speaking about Contour’s range of products, Radavics noted that the camcorder market is splitting to cover two key markets – hand-held and hands-free.

“If you look at the statistics worldwide, in North America, camcorder sales were down year-on-year 27%. The biggest camcorder retailer, which was Best Buy, was down 36%,” he said. “The hand-held market we think is ultimately going to be the phone,”

“Hands-free camcorders are growing in a lot of markets, 200% year on year and in some cases it’s more than 100% quarter-on-quarter growth,” he added.

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According to Radavics, these figures indicate that consumers are increasingly turning towards consumer electronics devices that fit in with their lifestyles. While they may not go out and make a big purchase, shoppers might choose to spend money on something that fits their niche interests.

“We’re finding people are putting a lot more money into those passion hobbies, they’re spending more there even though overall they’re spending a bit less,” he said.

As far as digital tendencies are concerned, Radavics was quick to note that Australians are early adopters of technology, and “we do like our gadgets”.

“People are enjoying their gadgets more and more. Gadgets in the past were a man-toy, but with the advent of the phone, the phone has just become the gadget of choice for everybody. Even baby boomers, they're so attached to their phone because it has everything.

“I think the phone has broken down the barriers for a lot of other gadgets in general. I’m seeing all generations and all consumers and both genders almost equally interested in gadgets that are out there. They’re entertaining or they’re time-saving or they have some sort of life-improving value.”

In light of this, Radavics suggested retailers needed to start looking towards products and trends that are unique and unconventional, especially if they want to survive an ever-changing industry.

“I think the most important thing is that retailers really need to step out of the box a little bit and find innovative brands, do things that are a little different because we can’t keep doing the things the way we’ve always done them. That’s going to be really really important over the next five or ten years.”

To read a full interview with Sven Radavics, turn to the July issue of Appliance Retailer magazine.