While an average of 5% of all consumer electronics purchases are currently made online, some lines sell more than 10% through online channels, with online sales generating greater brand loyalty than offline sales, according to a study by the US Consumer Electronics Association.
Online shopping for consumer electronics products is becoming increasingly popular, according to the report 'The Demographics of Online vs. In-Person CE Shopping'. The survey of over 1,000 US adults showed that online consumer electronics (CE) shoppers reported higher satisfaction with the purchase process than those who visited traditional bricks-and-mortar stores, citing convenience, order accuracy, product variety, product availability and product information among their top reasons.
The online shoppers also reported greater loyalty to their store of choice than those who made CE purchases in physical stores, with 52% claiming store brand loyalty online. Only 37% of bricks-and-mortar shoppers considered themselves loyal in their CE purchasing behaviour.
Some goods are more likely to be purchased online than others, too. While 5% of CE purchases reported by survey respondents were made online, the figure rose to an average of 10% for personal computing products, digital cameras, wireless home networking devices and portable music players.
The survey also found that consumers who buy at least some of their CE products online spend 67% more each year than those who do not make any CE purchases online. On average, the online buyer spent US$1,500 on CE purchases, with 29% of that total being spent online.
According to Joe Bates, director of research for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), "CE products have become ubiquitous and play a key role in almost every aspect of our lives. As a result, consumers will naturally gravitate toward a convenient means of purchase that makes them feel as though they have made a fair, well-informed decision in a setting that is easy to reach and work with."
The study's final report is available free of charge to CEA members, or for US$499 to non-members.