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Study: Brand-Name Importance Drops For CE Shoppers

A study done by marketing service provider Vertis, based here, proclaimed that brand names are becoming less influential when consumers are deciding where to shop for CE. According to the Customer Focus 2006 Home Electronics study, just 29 percent of adults consider brand names to be the most important factor (after price) when deciding to make a purchase, a drop from 40 percent in 2004. The importance of discounts and coupons as a driving force for consumers, however, has risen, with 19 percent listing these as important factors — up from 15 percent in 2004.

Other factors cited included a helpful and knowledgeable staff, with 17 percent of consumers listing it as the most important factor; the product being available at the time of purchase, at 12 percent; and special financing offers, such as deferred payments and no interest, at 10 percent (see chart below).

“Since consumers are always looking to upgrade their home electronics products, it is not surprising to learn that special offers like discounts and coupons are one of the most important factors for 19 percent of consumers, compared with 15 percent in 2004,” said Jim Litwin, market insights VP at Vertis, in a statement.

The study also reported that 30 percent of adults turn to advertising inserts first for assistance when purchasing CE products, and that 30 percent of all adults and 40 percent of online circular readers read all advertising inserts/circulars for services they need.

Of those who read online circulars, 78 percent research products by circular and then purchase at a store, while 25 percent research by circular and then purchase online.

Shoppers turning to the Internet first to make a decision rose to 21 percent, from 15 percent in 2004; however, just 8 percent of adults turn to TV first when making a CE purchase decision, according to the study.

Computers remain a hot-ticket item, said Vertis, with 28 percent of adults planning to purchase a notebook, laptop or desktop computer in the next 12 months; this is up from 21 percent in 2004. Likewise, large-screen or HDTV purchase plans increased to 17 percent, from 14 percent in 2004.

Adults planning to purchase a digital camera, however, dropped to 18 percent, from 20 percent in 2004.

Also found: While men are most likely to be the chief shoppers of home electronics products, women are taking a more active role in deciding which CE products to buy. Ninety-one percent of women aged 35-49 claimed they are the chief shoppers or that they equally share the CE purchasing decisions, compared with 86 percent of women aged 18-34, and 86 percent of women 50 and older. For men, 94 percent of both 18-34 and 35-49 age groups claimed to be the chief shoppers or to equally share in the decision-making process; for men 50 and older, 92 percent claimed this.

Customer Focus is Vertis’ annual study that is designed to track consumer behavior across a variety of industry segments and media. Three thousand adults were surveyed via phone and Web in August/September 2005.

Most Important Factor For CE Shoppers