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TV: Shoppers Choose Quality Over Size

A recent retail study of consumers’ TV purchasing patterns suggests that shoppers are swayed more by brand and picture quality than size.

According to ChannelEdge, a consultancy based here, 60 percent of shoppers polled had considered a screen size greater than 38 inches, although over 60 percent of TVs purchased were less than 38 inches. Consumers also spent 25 percent more on the smaller sets than they had originally budgeted.

The in-store survey, which examined the consumer’s decision-making process for buying TVs and accessories, was conducted this past March and April in more than 20 Best Buy, CompUSA, Circuit City and Cambridge SoundWorks locations in the Dallas; Boston; Nashville, Tenn.; Detroit; and San Francisco areas. More than 300 interviews were conducted with consumers shopping for TVs and consumers who had recently purchased TVs.

According to the results, consumers are focused on price and size first, brand name second and quality third while shopping; however, the in-store experience is critical in changing the consumers’ focus. The majority of people interviewed after a purchase chose picture quality as the most important factor in their decision, and trusted brand averaged the highest rating for influencing choice. Price, size and warranty followed.

Although the ability to compare products side by side, the knowledge of the sales associates, and the quality of the demonstration products lead consumers’ expectations, more than 30 percent of TVs were found to be improperly calibrated, said ChannelEdge.

The study lumped TV accessories into two groups: those consumers purchase at the same time they purchase their TV, and those they buy later. For the accessories purchased immediately — wall mounts and cables — retailers should have products and product information available within the immediate area, along with additional education and competitive promotions, according to the study.

For the accessories purchased later — speakers, power adapters, surround sound, and DVRs — retailers should co-promote with the TV vendors, provide quality in-store demonstrations and additional education, and provide motivating promotional offers at the original point of purchase, said ChannelEdge.

As for consumer demographics, the study found that more than 70 percent of consumers shopping, and more than 60 percent of consumers who purchased a TV, were male.

ChannelEdge is a joint venture between ChannelForce — a consultancy that helps increase clients’ share of mind and market via in-store sales, training and marketing — and NewEdge — a firm that creates market growth for clients through research, strategy and action.

For more information, contact NewEdge at (509) 375-5200.