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Friends Opinions Matter In CE Purchases

– Personal recommendations and online user reviews have the biggest influence
on consumer electronics purchases, a new survey shows.

According to the poll, fielded by BIGresearch on behalf of the Retail
Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), word of mouth influences about
43.7 percent of CE purchases, although articles, advertising inserts and
in-store promotions also sway buying decisions.

“Hearing what other people have to say about a product gives
shoppers the satisfaction of knowing what they purchased is peer-reviewed and
worth their money,” said Mike Gatti, executive director, RAMA, a division of
the National Retail Federation (NRF). “Whether it is based on a conversation
with a friend or a customer review on a Web site, people put a lot of weight in
other shoppers’ opinions.”

Newspaper and magazine articles also carry a lot of weight with
consumers. More than one-third (33.9 percent) said articles written about the
product influence their decision to buy it, while 26 percent are influenced by
advertising inserts, and nearly the same percentage are swayed by in-store

Coupons were another key sales driver, influencing the CE purchases
of 22.8 percent of shoppers, while 5.1 percent cited video game advertisements and
4.7 percent pointed to blogs as factors in their final purchase decision.

“Traditional media still plays a big role in consumers’ everyday
lives, but technology has paved the way for people to have instant access to
sales events, promotions and even customer reviews,” observed Phil Rist,
strategic initiatives executive VP at BIGresearch, a consumer research firm.