Washington - 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 promotions.
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.