The Website is Key for Consumer Electronics Sales

What are the buying habits of Danes when purchasing new electronics? The continued growth in sales of mobile devices, flat panels, headphones etc. is bringing consumer decision-making into focus. Discus Communications has investigated what makes the biggest impact on consumers. Our study shows that it is both tradition and innovation.

Try to compare what your customers' households owned four years ago, in terms of electronic devices, to what they own now. There is a good chance that the number of digital devices, has increased sharply. According to the Consumer Electronics Report* by Accenture, the number of smartphone owners is up from 26 percent to now 58 percent of the population in just four years. Similarly, tablet ownership has increased from 8 to 25 percent. The number of smartphone owners is expected to rise by 41 percent and tablet owners by 23 percent over the next 12 months. Similarly, during this period only 33 percent will purchase a new HD TV.
 
For consumer electronics, purchase intent is very strong right now. Although sales of regular phones, portable music players and digital cameras is expected to decline, the growing demand for smartphones and tablets will drive sales overall for the consumer electronics industry. More brands have also entered the market. The competition to be top of mind for consumers, when they make their purchasing decisions, has intensified. For sales, marketing and branding managers and others with an interest in lifestyle and consumer electronics, it is important to focus on what influences the purchase decision, and who or what is most important in the process. 
 
Study: Social Media is Overrated in a Buying Situation 
While  social media’s ROI  and influence on consumer buying habits is heatedly discussed, a new study conducted by the research institute Berent, on behalf of Discus Communications, sheds light. The study found that channels such as Facebook and YouTube, where manufacturers post information on new products, competitions and demonstration videos, have, in actuality, little effect on the buying process. When asked about the importance of Facebook’s and YouTube’s influence on buying new electronics, only three percent cited Facebook as an important source, with only four percent saying that YouTube is important.
 
Top-3 Information Sources for Consumer Electronics Purchases and Decision-Making:
         Men       Women
         1. Manufacturer’s  website       1. Manufacturer’s  website
         2. In-store visit       2. In-store visit
         3. Articles and reviews       3. Family and friend recommendations

Traditional sources are favoured over social sites. Women are also more likely to base their choices on recommendations from family and friends, where men increasingly prefer to research the relevant information. The survey shows that 84 percent have high or very high confidence in family and friends’ recommendations. Only a little more than half ‒ 55 percent ‒ have confidence in the manufacturer's own information. The website and in-store visits are the main resource for riving purchasing intent and gathering information ‒ although consumers are sceptical of these resources at the same time.

The results show, that consumers gather information from multiple sources and form their own conclusions on what’s the best choice. The study also shows that 56 percent believe that the technical specifications are most important in the buying decision. Just 19 percent believe price to be most crucial, while 18 percent believe that it is the specific brand that drives the purchase.

When purchasing new electronics, the choice is influenced by perceptions. Consumers are biased in their decision making. They form a picture based on experiences and recommendations, but not necessarily due to a rational analysis of quality and price. Shoppers therefore do not always buy the product that is best for their needs.

If you would like to learn more about the findings in the survey, please download Digital Lifestyle on the Move – Brand Marketing Insights 2014.  
 
If you are interested in social media strategy or would like to further explore the study, please write us at info@discus-communications.dk.
 
*Stat from Accenture’s 2013 Consumer Electronics Report, covering the U.S., Brazil, Russia, India, China, Japan, Germany, France, Sweden, South Africa and England.