Upstart Television Brand TCL Makes Aggressive Splash in the Industry

 In Shopping

When you think of television brands, what comes to mind?

Samsung? VIZIO? Maybe LG?

TCL may not have even made your mental list, and yet it is the fastest growing TV brand in America, and the third largest TV manufacturer in the world.

The brand attributes the fact that it is able to sell the latest technology — at surprisingly reasonable prices — to the fact that it makes its own panels and builds its own televisions in-house rather than outsourcing it. But, we asked, as we always do, what do the numbers say? We decided to look to see what the data told us about TCL’s tremendous recent growth.

Taking the Market by Storm

We studied the competitive market of TV sales online from January 2017 through April of 2018, focusing on four leading brands: Samsung, LG, Vizio and TCL.

While the lowest amount of market share TCL has had in the television space in the past year was 8.5% (May 2017), it hasn’t since hit so low, and has reached highs of over 34%. Only established brand Samsung has reached more market share (53.3% November 2017). During the same time period, VIZIO’s market share has sunk from its high of 35.6% in March 2017, and LG has stayed flat and below 20%.

So how has this company no one had heard of just a few years ago made such a significant impact in the television market? TCL is driving much high conversion rates than its competitors, often because it’s able to offer the lowest prices, winning shoppers who are looking for a deal.

Even though TCL had the lowest number of interacting customers (those who viewed a product page or searched for a product on a site) among the four brands we studied, they have the highest conversion rate, 2.8% among interacting customers. No other brand was able to score higher than 1.7% on the same metric. Likewise, 7% of customers who interacted with a TCL product added one to their cart. But the real standout stat is that once those TVs get put in the shopping cart, 80% of their customers end up starting checkout. Only Vizio is able to come close to matching this stat, gaining 75% of the customers who added to cart (though they had the lowest rate of cart-adds in the first place among the four competitors, just 3.1%).

 

There’s No Comparison

We suspect the price of a TCL TV is giving customers a high incentive to buy. This is especially clear when examining the cross-shopping habits of consumers. When customers look at both TCL and another brand, TCL tends to win the exchange. Among cross-shoppers, those customers who viewed both a TCL television and a competitor, TCL won 87,000 more conversions than they lost. No other brand we studied could say the same, they each had a net loss when the dust settled on cross-shopping behaviors.

A Little Room for Improvement

While TCL saw a healthy uptick in sales during the holiday season, nothing it did could take it even remotely close to the sales that Samsung saw in Q4.

Assessing sales of each television brand across Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy, it was interesting that Amazon’s market share dipped during the holiday season, as more consumers looking to make TV purchases headed to different retailers, perhaps because of Black Friday and other holiday promotions.

Expect More Big Moves from TCL

It’s our opinion that TCL is just getting started, and last year was a great indicator that there’s more to come.The brand has invested $20 billion in its state-of-the-art factory, as well as its 35 research centers around the globe. Both PC Mag and NY Times’ Wirecutter selected TCL’s TVs as the best of the year. It’s clear that TCL means business.

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