Arlington, Va. - As sweethearts
make plans for Valentine's Day, they would be wise to think about buying
electronics instead of traditional gifts for the women in their lives.
According to a new study from the
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), "Women in CE," electronics are a
desired purchase among both sexes.
The new study found that women's
interest in technology has increased in the years since the CEA's 2007 "The Truth About Women and Consumer Electronics" study, with eight in 10 women now expressing an interest
in CE products and nearly half of those (41 percent) saying they were "very
interested" in CE. This is an increase of 10 percentage points over the
Men continue to outspend women on
overall CE purchases, but the gap between genders is shrinking. On average, men
spent $728 on CE purchases in the past 12 months, while women spent $667 during
that same time period, a difference of $61. In the 2007 study, the spending gap
between men and women was closer to $200. Women also exert a significant amount
of influence in most CE purchases. Six in 10 (61 percent) women initiate or are
involved in the process in which a CE product is actually purchased, the CEA
Women, however, are far less
likely to claim ownership of most CE products. The study shows that women are
more likely to consider CE products as "household" products, meaning they
consider ownership of the device, such as TVs and DVD players, to be shared
with a spouse, partner, roommate or child. However, when it comes to newer and
mobile technologies, such as e-readers, notebook computers and smartphones,
women were more likely than men to claim sole ownership, the association said.
"This Valentine's Day, the way to
a women's heart just might be through electronics," said Jessica Boothe,
manager of strategic research, CEA, who oversaw this study. "Women want
technology more than ever and they view electronics as very personal devices
that can be toted around and customized with private information."
When shopping for their next CE
device, men and women both cite the same purchase factor as most important:
price. Ease of use, warranty and multiple functionality are the next most
important purchasing factors among both sexes. Also important to women are
product size and weight, something that generally is less of a concern among men.
Color ranks near the bottom as a factor among women when buying electronics.
The "Women and CE"
study also concluded that women are more likely than men to find that
electronics can simplify their life. More than three out of four women (77
percent) said "CE makes life easier," compared with 69 percent among men.
Eighty-four percent (84 percent) of women also agreed that "CE makes it easier
to keep in touch," compared with 78 percent for men.