Purch 2014 Tech Buying Trends Research predicts opportunity for webrooming and a happy holiday for smartphone, laptop, and tablet makers

NEW YORK, NY (Novembers 19, 2014) – Purch, a digital content and commerce company, today announced the results of its 2014 Tech Buying Trends Research. As the No. 1 digital publisher for tech media content in the U.S.,[1] with a global reach exceeding 100 million monthly visitors, Purch surveyed its U.S. audience of technology and science consumers and enthusiasts to better understand online and offline buying trends, intent, and behaviors. The survey, spanning Q1- Q3 2014, was conducted online via site intercepts across several of its top consumer-facing brands: Tom’s Hardware, Tom’s Guide, Laptop Mag, Live Science, and Space.com.

Purch’s 2014 Tech Buying Trends Research monitors key indicators for consumer tech, tracking consumer interest in hot product categories, top brands, and retail venues. Waves of the research were conducted quarterly, and inquired about tech purchase consideration ‘in the next 6 months’.  The most recent wave of the research, conducted in Q3 2014, queries a timeframe that includes the 2014 holiday shopping season.

Key findings include:

  • Multichannel shopping continues to dominate in the tech category.  Over the full survey period, 74% of tech shoppers said they would shop both online and in-store for tech items, compared with 19% online only and 4% in-store only.  Amazon (61%) tops the list of retailers, ahead of Best Buy (45%) and Direct from manufacturer (30%).
  • The top 10 tech brands considered for the full survey period include Samsung (50%), Asus (40%), Microsoft (38%), Apple (28%), LG (28%), Sony (28%), Dell (25%), HP (25%), Lenovo (20%) and Toshiba (19%).
  • Laptops and Tablets were the top 2 tech categories considered for purchase in the Q1 wave.  Purchase consideration remained strong for both Laptops and Tablets throughout Q2 and Q3, while interest in smartphones continued to increase.  By Q3, Smartphones was the top tech category being considered for purchase.
  • Interest in emerging categories such as smartwatches and wearable fitness devices is not showing a spike in interest in Q3 with the Holiday Season approaching.  Over the full survey period, consideration of smartwatches is at 9% and wearable fitness devices is at 8%.
  • Among those considering purchasing a smartphone, interest in switching to new wireless service providers increased from 43% in Q1 to more than half (52%) in Q3.
  • Throughout the survey period, Verizon maintained its position as most considered wireless service provider for those considering switching or opening new accounts.  AT&T consideration began the year in 3rd place behind T-Mobile in Q1 (Verizon 36%, T-Mobile 33%, AT&T 23%), overtook T-Mobile consideration in Q2 (Verizon 36%, AT&T 33%, T-Mobile 28%), and maintained a slight edge over T-Mobile consideration in Q3 (Verizon 39%, AT&T 31%, T-Mobile 29%).
  • Information sources relied on for purchasing tech over the survey period include ‘Product Reviews’ (86%) and ‘News or Articles by Experts’ (74%) followed by ‘Info Provided by the Brand or Company’ (45%).  Social media (18%) and Advertising (12%) were among the least relied upon sources.

“Consumers value a multichannel shopping environment, and they look to product reviews and expert content to guide their purchase decisions,” said Greg Mason, CEO of Purch. “You can’t deny the authority and influence these resources have on technology enthusiasts, in particular.”

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[1]  Source: comScore U.S. Media Metrix, Tech-News category ranking by unique visitors, October 2014

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