A new study, called Trends in CE Retailing, from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has found consumers to be very satisfied when shopping online and at traditional retail outlets for consumer electronics.
The study was performed in September 2008 by CEA Market Research; it is based on answers provided by a random national sample of 1,000 U.S. adults.
Online retailers were found to have a 90 percent net customer satisfaction rating, up 6 percent since the last survey in 2005. Consumers' rankings of large CE retailers remained unchanged from 2005, with 81 percent of large CE retailers having received good or excellent marks.
The study found that in the past 12 months, nearly seven out of 10 consumers researched a CE product online before going to a store to make the purchase; this is an increase of roughly 20 percentage points in one year. Thirty-one percent of shoppers said they had looked at a product in-store and bought it online. CEA said it expects to see more retailers optimize sales by providing customers with a seamless experience between the retail store and the Internet.
The study found that consumers and retailers are using information and technology differently than in the past. It found increased importance placed on word-of-mouth advertising with the rise of the Internet. Nearly four in 10 CE buyers are said to rely heavily on user-generated comments and reviews when making a purchase decision. Twenty percent reported making CE purchase decisions based solely on user opinions or reviews.
The entire study is available free to any CEA member company at CE.org.