Buyers of computer peripherals are price-smart when it comes to choice of brand. When shopping for a photo printer, 25% of consumers say that the price is the most important reason for purchasing a specific brand, followed by printer quality, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 'Photo Printer Customer Satisfaction Study'.
The inaugural study measures customer satisfaction with photo printers based on five factors that drive overall satisfaction (those being performance, appearance, connectivity, ease of use and cost). When examining photo printer performance relative to the drivers of overall satisfaction, Kodak and Lexmark performed particularly well as brands.
Price and quality
According to Steve Kirkeby, executive director of telecommunications and technology at J.D. Power and Associates, price and quality both play a critical role in the brand purchase decision, and both also have a considerable impact on overall satisfaction when the "ownership experience" begins.
Generally, consumers have a much more positive attitude toward their photo printer if they believe they got a good deal, which creates a valuable marketing opportunity for retailers' and manufacturers' sales channels. So, by clearly communicating the value and cost savings inherent in bundling high quality printers with cameras and accessories, Kirkeby believes that printer manufacturers can improve their chances of attracting customers while providing a more satisfying purchase experience.
Most used sales channels
The study found that 25% of customers purchase their photo printers through the internet. Among those, 27% purchase from a retail web site, while 24% purchase directly through the brand manufacturer's site, and 9% purchase through an online auction site (such as eBay).
Interestingly, customers who purchase through the internet tend to have higher satisfaction levels with their printer (averaging index scores of 801 points on a 1,000-point scale) compared to owners who purchased in a retail store (averaging 779 points).
"Although it is not always the case, customers generally feel that they are able to find less expensive printers online than in a retail store, particularly at online auction sites," explained Kirkeby. "This is further evidence of the critical role price plays in buying a photo printer."
Relationship with brand loyalty
The study also found that there is a distinct relationship between overall satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Among satisfied printer owners (i.e. those who provide an overall satisfaction score of 900 or more index points), 52% said they will repurchase the same printer brand. Conversely, only 4% of indifferent or disappointed owners (700 points or less) said they are likely to repurchase the same brand.
Loyalty driven by satisfaction
The research also found that, if customer satisfaction improves by 25 index points, repurchase intent among owners will, on average, improve by 10 percentage points.
And, while nearly 70% of satisfied owners reported that they would recommend their chosen printer brand to friends and family, only 5% of indifferent and disappointed owners said they would do the same.