DigitalAdvisor.com Sees Distinct Consumer Electronics Holiday Shopping Trends Emerge After Community Q&A Feature Launch

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TripAdvisor’s Sister Company helps people buy consumer electronics with real world advice and information; Data reveals interesting trends for this Holiday Season.

DigitalAdvisor (http://www.digitaladvisor.com), a Website that helps consumers buy consumer electronics products by consolidating user-generated reviews from around the web, today announced that a new feature launched two weeks ago is already delivering valuable insight for shoppers. The company’s new Q&A feature, launched 26 September, allows shoppers to submit plain English questions to the Website’s passionate community of ‘advisors’ who have firsthand knowledge of the consumer electronics being considered. DigitalAdvisor has seen six distinct shopping “personas” and a number of trends emerge from the library of thousands of questions and answers that has been quickly established on the site

“It’s been great to see such clear personalities, needs, and trends come through on the site,” explained David Parker, chief executive officer of DigitalAdvisor. “And even better to see how quickly the community has responded with the information our consumers need to make their purchases. With all of the information that the community has offered, it’s taken no time at all to build an impressive library of questions and answers that is sure to be useful to shoppers as we approach the holidays – and that gives DigitalAdvisor valuable insight into Consumer Electronics trends.”

Six CE Shopping Personas Emerge

DigitalAdvisor has identified six distinct personas by analyzing the questions being submitted:

  • The “Consumer Electronics Neophyte” (11% of total population) – doesn’t know where to begin, what criteria to consider or what some of the jargon means. These people tend to ask very general, scenarios-driven questions such as “what camera should I use to take pictures of my grandchildren?”
  • The “Looking to Learn” (36%) consumer has formulated an approach but needs help translating some of the jargon related to their purchase. These shoppers tend to have a DVD player or television in mind and are looking for insight or explanations of features.
  • “Accessory Hounds” (12%) are those who want to buy or replace accessories for their computers, phones or stereos. They often ask about compatibility to make sure their intended purchase will work with what they have.
  • The “Tie-Breakers” (8%) are shoppers who have done their homework and need someone with experience or expertise to help them choose between their final two options.
  • The “Own It’s” (28%) are the ones who have already purchased but are tapping into the community’s knowledge to solve problems
  • ‘Unique Users” (5%) have a high level of knowledge but have very unique usage scenarios. The company has seen questions asking for recommendations for cameras to be used for dermatology, archaeology, dentistry or aerial photography.

DigitalAdvisor Site Trends Reflect Broader Consumer Electronics Market

The Question and Answer feature on DigitalAdvisor has revealed many trends among consumer electronics shoppers.

  • Wide Screen/High Definition Televisions are Hot. One of the fastest growing categories on the Website is televisions. This category has the smallest percentage of owners – virtually all the questions have to do with choosing a TV and how to install it. This category also has the highest number of ‘tie-breakers’, indicating that people are having trouble comparing one TV against another – a perfect job for the DigitalAdvisor community to help with.
  • The Digital Camera Category is Huge – and Maturing as a Market. DigitalAdvisor’s digital camera category is the largest in terms of traffic, reflecting the tremendous size of the digital camera market worldwide. Questions coming from the DigitalAdvisor community run the gamut, from current owners looking to upgrade from their first digital camera purchases a number of years ago, to “neophytes” looking for basic information on how a digital camera works.
  • The Camcorder market is Growing and is Full of Questions. New technologies and lower price points in the camcorder market have re-invigorated this segment. High definition camcorders at reasonable prices have caught the interest of many first-time buyers who are “Looking to Learn.” DigitalAdvisor expects the percentage of questions coming from owners to remain low in this segment for the foreseeable future as more and more consumers learn about these new features.
  • Some Products Remain Difficult for Consumers to Manage. Printers, DVD Players, Home Theater, and Accessories are the categories with the highest percentage of shoppers in the “Own it, Have Questions” category. Despite printers and DVD Players being around for so long, consumers continue to have troubles getting these devices to perform as expected. The complexity of Home Theaters, which have TVs, cable boxes, speakers, amplifiers, and sometimes computers all “talking” to one another, has left consumers in the dark and full of questions. The community of DigitalAdvisor is there to help!

To see a list of questions and answers in any category on the DigitalAdvisor site, visitors can go to http://www.digitaladvisor.com and then choose a category in the drop-down menu located in the “Ask” section.

EDITOR’S NOTE: for more insight into the analysis done by Digital Advisor, please feel free to contact us using the contact info below.

About DigitalAdvisor:

DigitalAdvisor.com is an online resource that offers unbiased information and recommendations for consumers making consumer electronics purchases. DigitalAdvisor is different from other websites because it consolidates user-generated reviews that are either submitted directly to the site or gathered from around the Internet. This allows the company to pass on practical perspective from other consumers who have bought and lived with the consumer electronics in question. DigitalAdvisor also offers consumers the chance to tap into the knowledge and passion of its ‘Advisor’ community with its ‘Ask’ feature. This feature allows you to submit a plain English question and let the community respond with helpful information. Once the final decision is made, consumers can compare prices and click on any one of the dozens of links to online retailers. DigitalAdvisor is a wholly owned subsidiary of TripAdvisor LLC, an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE).

Jason Reindorp

Tel. +1206.226.4085

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