Multi-Channel Shopping for Home Electronics

Multi-Channel Shopping for Home Electronics

A Vertis study determined that almost four out of ten US adults (18 and older) research a product online then buy it in a store. For MP3 players in particular, however, 62% will research the product online and then buy it in a shop.

According to the 2002 Customer Focus report commissioned by Vertis, US adults say they research products online and then buy them at actual brick-and-mortar stores. Vertis found that this percentage rises substantially for specific home electronics such as MP3 players and home theaters. Only a few consumers prefer to research at a store and purchase online in general, but more will do so for home theaters (24%) and for digital TVs and/or high definition TVs (18%).

Home Electronic
(digital TV, MP3 player, Home theater) Shopping Habits US Adults, 2002 (% respondents)

  • Research online, buy at store 39%
  • Research by catalog, buy at store 32%
  • Research by catalog, buy online 13%
  • Research online, buy by phone 12%
  • Research at store, buy online 10%
    Source: Marshall Marketing & Communication for Vertis, July 2002

    The Vertis survey reported that when consumers were asked what features they value, besides price, when purchasing home electronics 47% said brand matters -- down from 50% who said the same in 1998. This year, slightly more respondents (16%) say they value quality sales staff compared to 1998 (14%).

    Important Features When Buying Consumer Electronics (% of respondents)

      1998 2000 2002
    Brand name 50% 52 47
    Product available 14 14 17
    Sales staff 14 13 16
    Special financing 9 7 8
    Rebates 6 5 6
    Source: Marshall Marketing & Communication for Vertis, July 2002

    A Retail Forward survey from June 2002 supports the point made by Vertis. Retail Forward determined that compared to personal computers, major appliances, clothing and toys, more US internet users will research consumer electronic items online and subsequently buy them from the relevant brick-and-mortar store.

    Products Researched Online and Purchased At Retail, 2002 (% of respondents)

  • Consumer Electronics 38%
  • Clothing 23%
  • Personal computers 22%
  • Toys 17%
  • Home accents/hardware 13%
  • Major appliances 12%
  • Furniture 9%
  • Sporting goods 9%
    Source: Retail Forward, June 2002

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