By Andrew Eisner
Unemployment is high and consumers are sacrificing this year but it appears that consumers still want their gadgets and they’re willing to stand in line to get them providing the price is right.
The latest Retrevo Gadgetology study asked consumers what was on their holiday wish lists and how much they were planning to spend on gadgets and gadget accessories. We discovered that certain groups of consumers are more likely to buy electronics and shop in stores this holiday season and Black Friday.
When we asked consumers if they were going to be spending more, less or about the same as last year, most categories appear to be just as popular this year as last especially clothing, movies, and games. On the other hand, travel and electronics could see some changes this holiday season. Electronics shows the biggest increase and travel the biggest decline with 16% of respondents saying they will spend more on electronics and 28% saying they will spend less on travel.
Unless Android gets it together in the tablet department, Apple could have a very good holiday season. When the study asked what was on consumers’ wish lists this year the product on the top of most people’s electronics wish lists was a tablet followed closely by a laptop, HDTV set, and smartphone. Netbooks and 3DTVs were lowest on the lists.
Who’s buying electronics this holiday season?
Answer: Young, male, iPhone owners. More than 50% of just about everyone that responded to the study indicated they are going to buying some electronics this holiday season. The largest groups of gadget buyers this year include under 34 year olds, males and iPhone owners.
Black Friday special report
Whether it’s a sign of a recovering economy or just increasing popularity of deals, it looks like more consumers are planning on shopping both online and at the store this year compared to last year. The Gadgetology study found shopping at stores should grow from 30% last year to 35% this year while online numbers look even better rising to 43% from 33% for last Black Friday. The National Retail Federation agrees it’s going to be better this year however, twice as many respondents to the Gadgetology study said they’d rather shop online on Black Friday than go to the store.
Even though tablets and Microsoft’s new Kinect game system might be hotter items this holiday season, HDTV, laptops and even Blu-ray players should be popular items as long as prices are attractive enough to create the demand. When we presented consumers with a list of price points for these products it became clear where the sweet spots are going to be this year. Our advice to manufacturers and resellers is, if you want to sell the most electronics, try beating these prices.
Of shoppers willing to stand in line this Black Friday, we found all of that group looking to buy a new TV would wait in line for a 37-inch HDTV set if it cost less than US$200. More than half the Black Friday Blu-ray shoppers (64%) said they’d buy a Blu-ray player for less than $75, 100% if it was priced below $50 and 39% if it cost less than $100. A $200 laptop would find all of those laptop buyers willing to wait in line, we say who wouldn’t? The percentage goes to 66% for a $300 laptop and 35% a $400 laptop.
Some Black Friday advice: It could be hard to resist deals at these prices but just be careful you’re not buying old technology along with a great bargain
If you’re like us you have to wonder if there aren’t thousands of Black Friday shoppers all going after a handful of items resulting in a lot of disappointed shoppers. It turns out that’s not true as we found twice as many shoppers got what they wanted last Black Friday than didn’t furthermore twice as many shoppers got what they set out to buy and didn’t have to buy something else instead. In other words, more consumers were happy customers than not last Black Friday.
As we do every year at this time we wish everyone a gadget-filled holiday season and hope you get that gadget you’ve had your eye on for the price you were hoping to pay. We look forward to providing you information-rich reports on trends and analysis for the consumer electronics market in the coming year.
The Retrevo Gadgetology Report is an ongoing study of people and electronics from the consumer electronics shopping and review site Retrevo.com. The data for this most recent report came from a study of online individuals (non-Retrevo users) conducted by an independent panel between Oct. 22 and Oct. 28, exclusively for Retrevo. The sample size was over 1,000 online individuals within the U.S, distributed across gender and age. Most responses have a confidence interval of 4% at a 95% confidence level.
For more about Retrevo’s report go to http://www.retrevo.com/content/blog/2010/11/holiday-shopping-trends-and-black-friday-special-report .
(Andrew Eisner is a computer journalist and the director of content for the consumer electronics shopping and review site Retrevo.com. Retrevo.com is one of the largest consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 50 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics.)