Consumers Use Retailer’s Multiple Channels to Prepare for CE Purchases: CEA

Consumers Use Retailer’s Multiple Channels to Prepare for CE Purchases: CEA

1399
0
SHARE

Arlington, VA—In today’s connected world, retailers need to offer consumers a multi-channel approach for purchasing consumer electronics, according to a recent Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) study. The study reveals that more than one-third (38%) of consumers have used two or more retail channels as they prepared for a consumer electronics (CE) purchase with brick-and-mortar retailers.

Released by the CEA in October, the Multi-Channel Alignment for CE Retailers with Physical Stores report explores CE retail channel usage and shopping behavior of those consumers who purchase CE from physical retailers (retailers with a brick-and-mortar store that may also offer online and mobile channels).

Among consumers who shop with these retailers, a standard online website (58%) is the preferred channel for browsing and researching CE products, compared to 38% who said they prefer physical stores. In addition, 4% responded they prefer dedicated mobile channels. However, when it comes to making the actual purchase, a brick-and-mortar store (69%) is still the most preferred channel, while 28% said they use the standard website and 4% again opt for dedicated mobile channels.

But for this holiday shopping season, mobile retail figures are expected to rise: CEA’s 2013 Holiday Retail Sales Forecast, published in October, predicts mobile sales will grow 35% during the 2013 holiday season and are expected to surpass $8 billion in revenue. And mobile online sales will represent nearly 15% of total online sales during the 2013 holiday season, making a multi-channel strategy essential for retailers.

Brick-and-mortar retail stores, however, are still the most important channel. According to the CEA Market Research findings, consumers who purchase CE products with brick-and-mortar retailers most often use the retailers’ actual storefronts for product examination (86%), making purchases (84%) and making returns (86%). Respondents said they most commonly use the retailers’ online channels for product research: to compare prices, 89%; view product reviews, 89%; and compare device features, 84%.

“Where bricks are concerned, the tactile experience of shopping for technology remains important. Consider ‘brand experience’ stores and the emerging store-within-a-store trend,” noted Steve Koenig, director, Industry Analysis, in a CEA blog. “And while today’s clicking consumers leverage the ubiquity of the Internet to their nearly infinite advantage, they also honor simple things like authenticity and exclusivity. This is one reason why we’re seeing dedicated mobile shopping apps deployed across the retail spectrum from mass merchants to electronics superstores and more.”

Brick-and-mortar retail stores, however, are still the most important channel. According to the CEA Market Research findings, consumers who purchase CE products with brick-and-mortar retailers most often use the retailers’ actual storefronts for product examination (86%), making purchases (84%) and making returns (86%). Respondents said they most commonly use the retailers’ online channels for product research: to compare prices, 89%; view product reviews, 89%; and compare device features, 84%.

In addition, more than four in 10 (45%) consumers who shop with brick-and-mortar retailers use their mobile devices to help them shop inside a retailer’s physical store to, again, research product purchases. According to the study, mobile devices are used most frequently in stores to look up product information (54%), price compare with other competing online retailers (46%), price compare with the same retailer’s online prices (42%) and price compare with other competing physical retailers (42%).

“It is imperative that physical CE retailers have a well-defined multi-channel strategy,” said Rhonda Daniel, senior manager, Market Research, CEA. “Threats, including showrooming, remain for brick-and-mortar stores. Creating seamless and fluid relationships across channels will allow physical retailers to play an integral and uninterrupted role along the entire path to purchase.”

Multi-Channel Alignment for CE Retailers with Physical Stores was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies at ce.org. Nonmembers may purchase the study for $999 at the CEA store. ce.org.

NO COMMENTS