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Yahoo!: Tech Enthusiasts Speed Shopping Cycle

11/06/2008 02:20:00 PM Eastern

Sunnyvale, Calif. — Tech enthusiasts have increased the speed of the shopping cycle with consumers now making major buying decisions in weeks, not months.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Yahoo on the research and buying habits of consumer electronics customers has lead the company to conclude that “consumers have significantly changed the way in which they purchase consumer electronics — taking only weeks rather than several months to research and purchase products.”

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they purchased an item within one week of researching a product and 28 percent did so within one month. The survey also found that 47 percent of its nearly 2,000 consumer electronics buyers could be considered “tech enthusiasts.”

The survey found that online information is a highly influential source, impacting what 47 percent of respondents buy and where 40 percent of respondents buy it.

Among the tech enthusiasts identified by the survey, the company said it would consider 26 percent to be “tech savants” or “experts,” 22 percent to be “informed pragmatists” who are “deeply engaged and reliant on research,” it called another 22 percent “tech socialists” and defined that group as “enthusiast tech shopper[s], buyer[s] and information disseminator[s],” and it put 30 percent in a “sophisticated want-it-all” category which it defined as “active and premium shopper[s],:

Yahoo! said that tech enthusiasts are “more likely to become brand advocates and try new products” and said tech socialites would lead the way.

In all, the company concluded, “the paradigm is shifting in the consumer electronics space. Today’s electronics consumer his highly engaged and adheres to a more personalized purchasing process. Understanding this new model and meeting the needs of this audience will be essential for marketers looking to reach consumers with the right message and tone.

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