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UK Researching and Buying Technology Products market report

“Including professional reviews along with user reviews on product webpages has the potential to facilitate the purchasing decision and shorten the consumer journey to purchase, therefore boosting conversion rates and reducing the risk of dropouts. Professional reviews, expert opinions, professional video tutorials and similar initiatives could prove particularly successful to drive online sales of emerging technologies.”
– Sara Ballaben, Senior Technology Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Could professional reviews help to shorten path to purchase?
  • Better integrating online and offline channels to facilitate mobile conversions
  • Building retention among under-45s

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • The majority of tech buyers purchased through a computer
              • Figure 1: Ways in which consumers have purchased technology products in the past 12 months, November 2016
            • Specialists are most competitive in-store
              • Figure 2: Type of retailer used for technology products purchased in the last 12 months, by ways in which consumers have purchased technology products in the past 12 months, November 2016
            • Smartphones more popular than laptops in 2017
              • Figure 3: Household ownership of technology products, April 2017
            • Consumers show healthy intentions to buy
              • Figure 4: Plans to purchase or upgrade consumer technology products, by timescale, April 2017
            • Could the income squeeze drive consumers to trade down?
              • Figure 5: Average wage growth and consumer price inflation, 2007-17
            • Selling services could become more important than selling products
              • Figure 6: Additional services received or purchased when buying electric products in the last 12 months, by technology products bought in the last 12 months, November 2016
            • The consumer
              • Three in four consumers start their technology shopping online
                • Figure 7: Approach to technology purchases, April 2017
              • Offline sources still have a key role in the technology consumer journey
                • Figure 8: Order in which consumers would use information sources to shop around for technology products, April 2017
              • Most still prioritise price over brand or specs
                • Figure 9: Factors consumers would prioritise when making technology purchases, by device, April 2017
              • More than half of people choose on price first when deciding where to buy
                • Figure 10: Most important factors when choosing where to purchase technology products, April 2017
              • The desire for reassurance leads consumers in-store
                • Figure 11: Attitudes towards shopping around for technology products (1/4)
              • Reducing the impact of ‘showrooming’
                • Figure 12: Attitudes towards shopping around for technology products (2/4)
              • Is there a credibility issue around online reviews?
                • Figure 13: Attitudes towards shopping around for technology products (3/4)
              • The role of mobile in the technology consumer journey
                • Figure 14: Attitudes towards shopping around for technology products (4/4)
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Could professional reviews help to shorten path to purchase?
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Better integrating online and offline channels to facilitate mobile conversions
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Building retention among under-45s
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • The majority of tech buyers purchased through a computer
                                    • Specialists are most competitive in-store
                                      • Smartphones more popular than laptops in 2017
                                        • Consumers show healthy intentions to buy
                                          • Could the income squeeze drive consumers to trade down?
                                            • Selling services could become more important than selling products
                                            • Channels to Market

                                              • The majority of tech buyers purchased through a computer
                                                • Figure 15: Ways in which consumers have purchased technology products in the past 12 months, November 2016
                                              • Specialists are most competitive in-store
                                                • Figure 16: Type of retailer used for technology products purchased in the last 12 months, by ways in which consumers have purchased technology products in the past 12 months, November 2016
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Smartphones more popular than laptops in 2017
                                                • Figure 17: Household ownership of technology products, April 2017
                                              • Consumers show healthy intentions to buy
                                                • Figure 18: Plans to purchase or upgrade consumer technology products, by timescale, April 2017
                                              • Could the income squeeze drive consumers to trade down?
                                                • Figure 19: Average wage growth and consumer price inflation, 2007-17
                                              • Selling services could become more important than selling products
                                                • Figure 20: Additional services received or purchased when buying electric products in the last 12 months, by technology products bought in the last 12 months, November 2016
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Three in four consumers start their technology shopping online
                                                • Offline sources still have a key role in the technology consumer journey
                                                  • Most still prioritise price over brand or specs
                                                    • More than half of people choose on price first when deciding where to buy
                                                      • The desire for reassurance leads consumers in-store
                                                        • Reducing the impact of ‘showrooming’
                                                          • Is there a credibility issue around online reviews?
                                                            • The role of mobile in the technology consumer journey
                                                            • The Information Gathering Process

                                                              • Three in four consumers start their technology shopping online
                                                                • Figure 21: Approach to technology purchases, April 2017
                                                              • The online-first approach is cross-generational
                                                                • Offline sources still have a key role in the technology consumer journey
                                                                    • Figure 22: Order in which consumers would use information sources to shop around for technology products, April 2017
                                                                  • Men seek professional advice, women value personal interaction
                                                                  • Attitude to Technology Purchasing Decisions

                                                                    • Most still prioritise price over brand or specs…
                                                                      • Figure 23: Factors consumers would prioritise when making technology purchases, by device, April 2017
                                                                    • …but mobile categories can rely on brand loyalty more than others can
                                                                      • Men are more technical while women are price-wary
                                                                        • Brand-first behaviour mostly skewed towards under-35s
                                                                          • Connected in the city
                                                                            • Affluent consumers focus on value for money in some categories more than others
                                                                              • Approach to technology purchases influences priorities
                                                                                • Figure 24: Factors consumers would prioritise when purchasing technology products, by approach to technology purchases, April 2017
                                                                            • The Choice of Where to Purchase

                                                                              • More than half of people choose on price first when deciding where to buy
                                                                                • Figure 25: Most important factors when choosing where to purchase technology products, April 2017
                                                                              • …but seller’s reputation is also key
                                                                                • Delivery/collection options are the most valuable add-on
                                                                                • Attitudes towards Shopping Around for Technology Products

                                                                                  • The desire for reassurance leads consumers in-store
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Attitudes towards shopping around for technology products (1/4), April 2017
                                                                                  • Reducing the impact of ‘showrooming’
                                                                                      • Figure 27: Attitudes towards shopping around for technology products (2/4), April 2017
                                                                                    • Is there a credibility issue around online reviews?
                                                                                      • Figure 28: Attitudes towards shopping around for technology products (3/4), April 2017
                                                                                    • The role of mobile in the technology consumer journey
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Attitudes towards shopping around for technology products (4/4), April 2017
                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                          To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.