Half of Consumers Buy Electronics Online


A new NPD study has some surprising stats about online shopping.

Sep. 28, 2011 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

According to a new study by The NPD Group, only half of consumers buy electronics online. Glass half-empty or full? You decide.

The market research company’s “E-commerce and Consumer Electronics: Online Shopping & Purchasing” report says that shoppers are still reluctant about online electronics purchases, even though they use the web to research those same purchases.

TVs, in particular, are the fourth most-likely item that consumers research online before they make a purchase. However, only 19 percent of consumers would actually want to order that TV on the web. The same could be said about smartphones. Even though 52 percent of those surveyed said they used the web to research that next handheld, only 23 percent would actually click to make a purchase.

Products that consumers were “extremely” or “very likely” to purchase online includes computers (34 percent), eReaders (32 percent), digital cameras (30 percent), and tablet computers (29 percent). Blu-ray players and home audio products ranked on the lower end of the spectrum, with 21 and 20 percent, respectively.

“Part of consumers’ unwillingness to purchase certain electronics online might be due to a lack of awareness, or as a result of the slow pace taken by many traditional CE companies establishing a direct-to-consumer buying presence on the Web, or it could be something inherent in the products themselves, such as price or complexity,” said Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis for NPD. “Whatever the cause, the result is a badly skewed online sales mix that relies heavily on a narrow range of products, and one that doesn’t adequately address some of the more exciting growth opportunities.”

NPD’s “E-commerce and Consumer Electronics: Online Shopping & Purchasing” report is based on online surveys gathered in June 2011 from 1,326 panelists from NPD’s online panel. Results were balanced to represent the U.S. adult population.

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