100 Percent of Surveyed Consumers Bought an Electronic Device over the Holidays

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Market Force study reveals retail sales associates heavily influence consumer electronics purchases.

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Consumer Electronics Purchased over the Holidays

The survey also discovered that retail sales associates wield enormous clout during the electronics buying process.

Electronics were at the top of everyone’s shopping list over the holidays. In a new consumer electronics study by Market Force Information, 100% of survey respondents reported purchasing a consumer electronic device for themselves or others during the holiday season. Video games and gear were the most popular items, followed by TVs.

The survey of more than 4,200 consumers by Market Force, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions, was designed to uncover which electronics were most popular among holiday shoppers in 2011, what factors influenced their buying decisions and where they made their purchases.

Brick-and-mortar dominates for CE

Surprisingly, more holiday shoppers got into their cars than logged into their computers to shop for electronics. Of those surveyed, only 35% said they bought an electronic device online, while 100% said they bought at least one device from a retail store.

Why brick-and-mortar and not online? More than half said they bought from a retail location because of the immediacy of the purchase, and 46% were lured by special in-store promotions. Another 39% wanted to avoid shipping costs, while 35% wanted an in-person demonstration of the device.

Best Buy was the most popular retailer for pricey consumer electronics, followed by Walmart and Target. Wireless phone stores, Apple Stores, Staples and GameStop were also called out, although none received more than 5% of the mentions.

Sales associates wield retail power

The survey also discovered that retail sales associates wield enormous clout during the electronics buying process. More than three-quarters of shoppers said they were helped by a sales person, 44% received a specific product recommendation from the associate and, of those, 85% bought the product that was recommended.

“We discovered that the human factor in the retail process is incredibly powerful when consumer electronics are concerned,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. “Not only do shoppers value and trust the opinions of electronics salespeople, they also tend to follow their advice, which tells us this role carries more weight than in other industries.”

‘Game on’ for holiday electronics sales

In the blazing battle of consumer electronics dominance, the video game industry proved victorious. Thirty-two percent of survey respondents reported buying gaming gear for themselves or others, just edging out the 31% who bought TVs, DVD players and other TV components. There was a tie for third between smart phones and digital cameras, each with 24%, while 23% bought a computer. Despite the hype, tablet computers like iPads and e-readers like Kindle were only purchased by 21% and 20%, respectively.

Market Force conducted the consumer electronics survey in January 2012. The pool of 4,206 survey respondents ranged in age from 18 to more than 65, and reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with half reporting household incomes of $25,000 - $50,000 a year. Seventy-two percent were women, the primary household consumer purchasers. More than two-thirds are married.

For more information on Market Force’s customer intelligence solutions for the retail industry, visit http://www.marketforce.com/industries/retail

About Market Force Information

Market Force is the leading global customer intelligence solutions company for multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions, entertainment studios and consumer packaged goods companies. With more than 125 years of combined industry experience, Market Force Information has pioneered the industry with a suite of customer intelligence solutions – from 600,000 field associates across North America and Europe who conduct mystery shopping, merchandising and retail auditing, to real customer surveys and proprietary decision-support tools. Its solutions provide a holistic view of the customer's on-site experience and identify the actions required at the store level to increase customer loyalty and improve financial performance. Market Force was named one of Forbes’ America’s Most Promising Companies in 2011. For more information, visit http://www.marketforce.com.


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Rebecca Scanlan
GroundFloor Media
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