CE No. 1 For Holiday Shoppers

By Alan Wolf On Jan 30 2012 - 6:01am




BOULDER, COLO. — Fully 100 percent of consumers surveyed in a holiday shopping poll reported purchasing a CE device last season.

The survey of more than 4,200 shoppers, conducted earlier this month by retail services firm Market Force Information, found that video game titles and hardware were the most popular electronics items, followed by TVs, DVD players and other video components.

Of those surveyed, 35 percent said they purchased a CE product online, while 100 percent of respondents said they bought at least one device from a brick-and-mortar store. Of the latter, more than half visited a physical location for the immediacy of the purchase and 46 percent said they were lured by special in-store promotions. Another 39 percent wanted to avoid shipping costs, while 35 percent wanted an in-person demonstration of the device.

Best Buy was the most popular storefront retailer among CE shoppers, followed by Walmart and Target. Mobile phone stores, Apple Stores, Staples and GameStop were also cited by respondents, although none received more than 5 percent of the mentions.

Inside the stores, more than threequarters of shoppers said they were helped by a sales person, 44 percent received a specific product recommendation from the associate and, of those, 85 percent 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 Market Force chief marketing officer Janet Eden-Harris. “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.”

On the product front, 32 percent of respondents reported buying gaming equipment for themselves or others, while 31 percent bought TVs, DVD players and other TV components. Smart phones and digital cameras tied for third place at 24 percent each, followed by computers at 23 percent.

Tablets and e-readers were only purchased by 21 percent and 20 percent, respectively, the survey showed.

The results contradict retailers’ reports of dramatic sales gains for handheld mobile devices and weakness within the TV and gaming sectors during the holiday period. Many dealers also reported flat to lower CE sales for the season.

Market Force’s 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 to $50,000 a year. Seventytwo percent were women, the primary household consumer purchasers, and more than two-thirds were married.

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