Tough Choices: How the complexity of content shifting devices is changing how people shop for consumer electronics

Last week, I wrote about how the ownership of consumer electronics capable of shifting content is not limited to Americans in their late teens and 20s. While these products offer consumers more choice in terms of viewing media across time, place and device, they also introduce more complexity into the purchase process.

The question is, are the consumers shopping for these time shifting devices – like laptops, DVRs, portable media players, iPhones and other Smartphones – shopping for consumer electronics differently? To find out, I looked at results from a recent Compete survey.

As we can see in the chart:

  • Those who are planning on buying a shifting device in the next 12 months (dark blue bars) were more likely to do their homework, spending more time on research and consulting more information sources.
  • The people who weren’t planning to buy a content shifting device (light blue bars) were more likely to say that complexity wouldn’t change their behavior and that they’d let someone else do the shopping for them.

People in the market for shifting devices are probably more technically savvy, but they are also investing more time and effort into their research. In addition to shopping for devices that can be more complex to use, these consumers also need to understand emerging technologies and services that help them shift content across time and across device, whether it’s working out how to stream movies from Netflix to their TiVo, find the online videos they want to watch, or transfer video files to their Smartphone.

What does this mean for CE marketers and retailers? There is a lot of information online, but consumers need resources that help them sift through the clutter and choose the products and services that will enable them to shift content in the ways they want, without a lot of hassle and at a reasonable price. If retailers can come up with a way to present clear options alongside a place to purchase products and services, they would not only make consumer’s visions a reality, but also make strides at converting browsers into buyers.

For more on how consumers are researching and buying CE products that help them to shift content, and how other industries have dealt with complexity and the burden of choice, join us for "Shifting Content Across Time, Place and Device", a free webinar tomorrow at 2pm EST. Click here to register.