More-Eager Buyers Researching Products Online


People are thinking about spending again on electronics, but they're going to be shopping smarter, with more research.

According to About.com's Consumer Electronics Study, 65% of consumers plan to spend more time researching electronics products online before buying. "Whereas last year they were in hold-back mode, now consumers are thinking about buying again," Evan Minskoff, vice president of marketing for The About Group, tells Marketing Daily. "One of the most interesting findings [from the study] is the way they're leaning on advertising for information."

Advertising -- particularly online advertising -- continues to be a main source of information for many consumers, with more than 60% of them saying they find ads useful when considering a purchase, Minskoff says. In addition, 58% of consumers said they do more research and comparison shopping after seeing an advertisement for a product that interests them.



According to the survey, 73% of respondents said they plan to purchase computers, laptops and wireless phones, while 60% said they plan to buy televisions. And while 40% of consumers said they plan to spend more on computers and phones this year, they're going to do such spending more intelligently. "They're looking to get more value for the dollars they spend," Minskoff says. "They want the products to be durable and long-lasting. That's prompting much more research."

The trick now is to match the message to the audience's needs to ensure the advertising appeals to consumers, Minskoff says. Nearly half -- 47% -- of consumers said they are more receptive to ads that compare features of different products. Younger consumers (18-34) want to know about new products and features, while those over 35 are more receptive to comparative ads.

Minskoff suggests advertisers shift their messages from straight selling to ones that aid consumers' decision-making processes. "There's an increase in desire for more information in ads."

As such, they have a greater reliance on well-known brands. Sixty percent of the respondents said they feel that well-established brands are of a higher quality and will therefore last longer and perform better. "They're willing to spend on brands that are perceived to be really high-quality, which is nice," Minskoff says. "In electronics, people are brand loyal, but they want a higher level of confidence."

1 comment about "More-Eager Buyers Researching Products Online".
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  1. Mark Cerasuolo from Pelennor Technologies, June 23, 2010 at 2:12 p.m.

    Thanks, interesting piece. And not without precedent. During the depths of the Great Depression radio sales surged, in spite of their cost at that time (prices were ruthlessly driven down as well). It seems that the consumer electronics industry is always able to build volume in new categories quickly by pushing prices down to increase mass adoption and accelerate market penetration. Relative to the weekly paycheck, CE products always cost "less than they used to," while new homes and cars seem to always go in the other direction-- inflating the need for credit in order to own one.

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