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Researching and Buying Technology Products - UK - January 2012

“Personal data is the new currency, and retailers need to consider investing in free wi-fi connections for shoppers in exchange for permission to better understand their customers’ shopping habits and behaviour.”

– Cecilia Liao, Senior Technology Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What can be done about the negative perception of salespeople selling technology products?
  • What will encourage consumers to buy technology products from physical retailers?
  • What will encourage consumers to buy technology products from online retailers?
  • Should retailers be concerned about how consumers are using their mobile devices to research technology products in-store?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Technology products have at home and plan to buy/upgrade in next three months, November 2011
              • Figure 2: Technology products personally owned and plan to buy/upgrade in next three months, November 2011
            • Market factors
              • Figure 3: Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, by age, August-October 1992-2011
            • Companies, brands and innovation
              • The consumer
                • Figure 4: How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, by gender, November 2011
                • Figure 5: Type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, November 2011
                • Figure 6: Consumers’ attitudes towards researching technology products, November 2011
                • Figure 7: Consumers’ behaviour when buying technology products, November 2011
                • Figure 8: Sources of information and advice influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones and computers, November 2011
              • What we think
              • Issues in the Market

                  • What can be done about the negative perception of salespeople selling technology products?
                    • What will encourage consumers to buy technology products from physical retailers?
                      • What will encourage consumers to buy technology products from online retailers?
                        • Should retailers be concerned about how consumers are using their mobile devices to research technology products in-store?
                        • Future Opportunities

                            • Trend: Life Hacking
                              • Trend: Why Buy?
                              • Internal Market Environment

                                • Key points
                                  • The rise of mobile internet-enabled devices
                                    • Figure 9: Electronic devices have at home, October 2010-11
                                    • Figure 10: Methods of accessing the internet, 2010-11
                                  • In-store activities on a mobile phone
                                    • Figure 11: Activities performed in retail stores via a mobile phone, October 2011
                                  • Broadband divide still exists
                                    • Figure 12: Broadband penetration, by age, 2004-11
                                  • What do consumers buy online?
                                    • Figure 13: Types of products purchased on the internet in the last three months, October 2011
                                  • How do consumers pay for online purchases?
                                    • Figure 14: Purchasing on the internet and methods of payment used, 2007-11
                                • Broader Market Environment

                                  • Key points
                                    • UK economic growth shows uncertain path
                                      • Figure 15: GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2004-Q4 2011
                                    • One in five 16-24-year-olds are unemployed
                                      • Figure 16: Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, by age, August-October 1992-2011
                                    • Uncertain economic climate to dampen technology spending
                                      • Figure 17: GFK NOP Consumer Confidence Index, January 1988- December 2011
                                  • Who’s Innovating?

                                    • Key points
                                      • Comet expands online sales via eBay
                                        • Figure 18: Screenshot of Comet’s store on eBay, 3 January 2012
                                      • Bringing the shop to the consumer
                                        • Free wi-fi for shoppers
                                          • Interactive guide in addition to knowledgeable staff
                                            • Figure 19: Apple iPads as electronic product guides in Apple retail stores, January 2012
                                          • Rent an iPhone 4S from O2
                                            • Figure 20: Total cost of O2’s iPhone 4S contracts over 12 months, by contract type, January 2012
                                        • Interest in Technology Products

                                          • Key points
                                            • How consumers describe their technology interest and knowledge
                                                • Figure 21: How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, by gender, November 2011
                                                • Figure 22: How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, by age, November 2011
                                              • Technology in the home
                                                • Figure 23: Technology products have at home and plan to buy/upgrade in next three months, November 2011
                                              • Personal technology products
                                                • Figure 24: Technology products personally owned and plan to buy/upgrade in next three months, November 2011
                                                • Figure 25: Top three technology products planned to buy or upgrade in the next three months, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                            • Testing, Experimenting and Comparing In Person

                                              • Key points
                                                • Almost a quarter of consumers will buy without seeing the real thing
                                                  • Figure 26: Type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, November 2011
                                                  • Figure 27: Type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                • Televisions, smartphones and computers top the list of technology products for in-person testing
                                                  • Figure 28: Consumers who want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by age, November 2011
                                                • Fewer consumers express the need to test a tablet
                                                • Researching Technology Products In-Store

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Are salespeople knowledgeable enough?
                                                      • Figure 29: Consumers’ attitudes towards researching technology products, November 2011
                                                      • Figure 30: Agreement with the statement ‘salespeople in stores often lack the technical knowledge to provide useful advice’, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                      • Figure 31: Agreement with the statement ‘salespeople in stores often lack the technical knowledge to provide useful advice’, by age, November 2011
                                                    • One-third of consumers stick with brands they know
                                                      • Figure 32: Agreement with the statement ‘I tend to stick to brands I know when I research technology products’, by gender, November 2011
                                                      • Figure 33: Agreement with the statement ‘I tend to stick to brands I know when I research technology products’, by age, November 2011
                                                      • Figure 34: Agreement with the statement ‘I tend to stick to brands I know when I research technology products’, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                    • One in five have compared prices in a shop
                                                      • Figure 35: Agreement with the statements ‘I have used my mobile phone/tablet to compare prices while shopping for technology products in a store’, and ‘I would like to use my mobile phone/tablet to compare prices while shopping for technology products in a store, but I don’t know how’, by gender, November 2011
                                                      • Figure 36: Agreement with the statements ‘I have used my mobile phone/tablet to compare prices while shopping for technology products in a store’, and ‘I would like to use my mobile phone/tablet to compare prices while shopping for technology products in a store, but I don’t know how’, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                      • Figure 37: Agreement with the statements ‘I have used my mobile phone/tablet to compare prices while shopping for technology products in a store’, and ‘I would like to use my mobile phone/tablet to compare prices while shopping for technology products in a store, but I don’t know how’, by age, November 2011
                                                    • Researching products on a mobile in-store
                                                      • Figure 38: Agreement with the statements ‘I have used my mobile phone/tablet to look up product information while shopping for technology devices in a store’, and ‘I would like to use my mobile phone/tablet to look up product information while shopping for technology devices in a store, but don’t know how’, by gender, November 2011
                                                      • Figure 39: Agreement with the statements ‘I have used my mobile phone/tablet to look up product information while shopping for technology devices in a store’, and ‘I would like to use my mobile phone/tablet to look up product information while shopping for technology devices in a store, but don’t know how’, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                      • Figure 40: Agreement with the statements ‘I have used my mobile phone/tablet to look up product information while shopping for technology devices in a store’, and ‘I would like to use my mobile phone/tablet to look up product information while shopping for technology devices in a store but don’t know how’, by age, November 2011
                                                  • Buying Technology Products

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Half of all consumers purchase online for cheaper deals
                                                        • Figure 41: Consumers’ behaviour when buying technology products, November 2011
                                                        • Figure 42: Agreement with the statements ‘I have tried a technology product in-store but purchased via the internet because prices are cheaper online’, and ‘I have tried a technology product in-store but purchased via the internet because it was out-of-stock in the store’, by age, November 2011
                                                      • Driving online purchases of technology products
                                                        • Figure 43: Agreement with the statement ‘I use the internet to buy technology products more often than buying them in-person’, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                        • Figure 44: Agreement with the statements ‘I would buy technology products online more often if I could choose the delivery date and time’, and ‘I would buy technology products online more often if I could pick up the item from somewhere local to me’, by age, November 2011
                                                      • Impact of vouchers and cashback offers on choice of retailer
                                                        • Figure 45: Agreement with the statement ‘vouchers and cashback offers affect which retailer I purchase technology products from’, by age, November 2011
                                                        • Figure 46: Percentage of internet users visiting incentives web services vs. vouchers web services, December 2008 to November 2011
                                                    • Sources of Advice for Televisions, Smartphones and Computers

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Buying printed advice is a low priority
                                                          • Figure 47: Sources of information and advice influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones and computers, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 48: Buying a magazine/guide as a source of information and advice for the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by how consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 49: Buying a magazine/guide as a source of information and advice for the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by gender, age, gross annual household income, presence of children, and daily personal internet usage, November 2011
                                                        • The different research habits of male and female consumers
                                                          • Figure 50: Sources of information and advice influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by gender, November 2011
                                                        • Consumers invest more energy in researching computers
                                                          • Figure 51: Number of sources of information and advice influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, November 2011
                                                        • The importance of retail websites
                                                          • Figure 52: Top three sources of information and advice influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, November 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                          • Figure 53: Broadband penetration, by demographics, 2006-11
                                                          • Figure 54: Electronic devices have at home, October 2010-11
                                                          • Figure 55: Ways to access internet, 2007-11
                                                          • Figure 56: Methods of payment used while purchasing on the internet, 2007-11
                                                          • Figure 57: Frequency of purchase on the internet, 2007-11
                                                      • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                          • Figure 58: Employment and unemployment, by gender, 2006-16
                                                          • Figure 59: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2006-16
                                                      • Appendix – Interest in Technology Products

                                                          • Figure 60: How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 61: How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, by demographics, November 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Testing, Experimenting and Comparing In-Person

                                                          • Figure 62: Type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 63: Most popular type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 64: Next most popular type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 65: Other type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 66: Type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 67: Type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, by most popular type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 68: Type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, by next most popular type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 69: Type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, by other type of technology products that consumers want to test, experiment or compare in-person prior to purchase, November 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Researching Technology Products In-Store

                                                          • Figure 70: Consumers’ attitudes towards researching technology products, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 71: Consumers’ attitudes towards researching technology products, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 72: Consumers’ attitudes towards researching technology products, by most popular Consumers’ attitudes towards researching technology products, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 73: Consumers’ attitudes towards researching technology products, by next most popular Consumers’ attitudes towards researching technology products, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 74: Consumers’ attitudes towards researching technology products, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Buying Technology Products

                                                          • Figure 75: Consumers’ behaviour when buying technology products, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 76: Agreement with the statements ‘I have tried a technology product in-store but purchased via the internet because prices are cheaper online.’ and ‘Vouchers and cashback offers affect which retailer I purchase technology products from’ by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 77: Agreement with the statements ‘I use the internet to buy technology products more often than buying them in-person.’ and ‘I would buy technology products online more often if I could choose the delivery date and time’, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 78: Agreement with the statements ‘I have asked for discounts on technology products when I shop in a physical store.’ and ‘I would buy technology products online more often if I could pick up the item from somewhere local to me’, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 79: Agreement with the statement ‘I have tried a technology product in-store but purchased via the internet because it was out-of-stock in the store’, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 80: Consumers’ behaviour when buying technology products, by consumers’ behaviour when buying technology products, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 81: Consumers’ behaviour when buying technology products, by agreement with the statements ‘I would buy technology products online more often if I could choose the delivery date and time.’ and ‘I have tried a technology product in-store but purchased via the internet because prices are cheaper online’, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 82: Consumers’ behaviour when buying technology products, by agreement with the statements ‘I have tried a technology product in-store but purchased via the internet because it was out-of-stock in the store.’ and ‘I have asked for discounts on technology products when I shop in a physical store’, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 83: Consumers’ behaviour when buying technology products, by Agreement with the statements ‘Vouchers and cashback offers affect which retailer I purchase technology products from’, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 84: Consumers’ behaviour when buying technology products, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Sources of Advice for Televisions, Smartphones and Computers

                                                          • Figure 85: Sources of information and advice influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 86: Speak with family/friends/colleagues influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 87: Speak with a salesperson in-store influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 88: Read customer reviews online influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 89: Read professional reviews online influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 90: Browse retail stores in person to learn more about products and options influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 91: Browse retail websites to learn more about products and options influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 92: Watch online videos of products influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 93: Buy a magazine/guide related to the technology product influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by demographics, November 2011
                                                          • Figure 94: Sources of information and advice influencing the purchase of televisions, smartphones, and computers, by How consumers describe their knowledge of and interest in technology products, November 2011

                                                      Companies Covered

                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                      • Amazon.co.uk
                                                      • Apple Retail UK
                                                      • Archos S.A.
                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                      • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                      • Comet Group Ltd
                                                      • Creative Technology, Ltd
                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                      • Freeview
                                                      • Gfk NOP
                                                      • Google UK
                                                      • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                      • Groupon, Inc.
                                                      • HMV Retail Ltd
                                                      • Ipsos MORI
                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                      • John Lewis Plc (department store)
                                                      • Kantar Media
                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                      • Micro Anvika Ltd
                                                      • mmO2 plc
                                                      • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                      • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                      • Office for National Statistics
                                                      • PayPal Inc.
                                                      • Phones 4U Ltd
                                                      • Quidco
                                                      • Research in Motion Uk Ltd.
                                                      • Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd
                                                      • Sony (UK) Ltd
                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                      • TiVo Inc
                                                      • Waitrose
                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                      Researching and Buying Technology Products - UK - January 2012

                                                      £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)