One in two consumers research electronics purchases on specialist retailer websites but only 14% buy there

Kantar Media Compete’s latest Online Shopper Intelligence report shows that 56% of UK shoppers buying electronics goods online are spending a significant amount of time researching their purchases on the websites of specialist electronics retailers such as currys.co.uk, comet.co.uk and pcworld.co.uk. However, only 14% of those shoppers make their final purchase on these sites. More than half, 52%, of shoppers purchase their electronics goods from mass merchants like Amazon.co.uk. Department stores get 8% of online purchases and auction sites 18%.

With more than three quarters of shoppers (83%) conducting online product research before they purchase electronics goods, the most important sources of information are specialist retailers’ websites (56%), followed by search engines (43%), price comparison websites (21%), consumer reviews (19%) and friends, family members or colleagues outside of a social network site (12%). Consumers also spend more time browsing the websites of electronic retailers and consumer review sites to learn more about the products before they purchase.

“Consumers browse electronics retailers’ sites and consumer reviews to compare brands and products, but free delivery and price impact where they make their purchase,” commented John Thekanady, UK Client Services Director, Kantar Media Compete. “Specialist retailers are doing a great job on delivering the most extensive product ranges and detailed information, but it’s clear this isn’t enough. With growing pressure to increase sales, they need to look at the entire consumer journey to determine where and why consumers leave before checkout, and overhaul their overall online strategies to improve conversion rates.”

Forty five percent of shoppers claim to compare prices at various online retailers before making the purchase and 51% of shoppers received free delivery on their purchases. A third (37%) of shoppers read online consumer reviews.

Gender Divide?

The research also showed that 87% of men purchase electronics goods for themselves whereas 29% of women make the purchase for another family member. While men prefer to do their research on review sites such as which.co.uk, women tend to use a wider range of sources and sites they are more familiar with, like ciao.co.uk, that include electronics reviews alongside sections on beauty and fashion.

“This research also underscores the importance of monitoring the clickstream patterns of different consumer segments, and recognising their differing motivations, to identify the best way to convert them into buyers. Mass merchants could perhaps drive sales further by including external information sources such as expert reviews and social media on their product pages, while a focus on price and service may help specialist retailers increase their market share,” commented Thekanady.
The full report can be downloaded from: www.kantarmedia.compete.com.

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