March 07, 2008

Manufacturers seeking to influence consumer purchasing must master a number of factors that can help predict patterns of shopping and purchasing behavior, according to The Changing Consumer Electronics Purchase Process, a new consumer research study from Parks Associates.

Price is a significant influence on purchase behavior but is not always the most important factor. Consumer age, brand, type of product, current product diffusion, and lifecycle stage of a product must be viewed in concert with price to understand purchase process behavior.

“Manufacturers spend billions setting up their products and brands in the consumer’s mindset,” said Tricia Parks, CEO, Parks Associates. “What is not always clear is which of those spent dollars matter to which consumer for specific products and which do not. In an era of tightened spending, by consumers and manufacturers alike, this study helps manufacturers pinpoint where to aim their marketing dollars and which benefits to highlight.”

For example, buyers of certain products, including game consoles, high-definition DVD players, DVRs, and photo printers, are more likely to consider product features and capabilities over price. Device manufacturers would be better served in communicating the overall value of these products in terms of performance and capabilities than advertising solely on price.

The Changing Consumer Electronics Purchase Process offers the findings from a recent survey of 2,500 U.S. broadband households. The study tracks the buying and purchase process for 27 categories of consumer electronics, including GPS devices, flat-panel TVs, and NAS, in which broadband heads of household provide details on their purchase patterns for the past 12 months, with topics including the following:

• Time span of the purchase process
• The influences to purchase
• Information sources
• Key product features and factors important to their ultimate purchase choice by specific product
• Assessments on locations of purchase
• The importance (or unimportance) of brand

To view chart CLICK above on “more Images’.

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