The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tech Buyers Want Multichannel Options

Most college students love the latest electronic gadget and many will be in the market for something new this holiday season. A new report on retail technology trends found most buyers like shopping both online and in-store and aren’t that interested in wearable tech yet.

Purch, an online publishing company, surveyed more than 3,000 “tech enthusiasts” to track consumer-technology buying trends and identify top brands. It found that 74% of respondents planned to shop both online and in stores for their tech purchases, while just 4% said they would limit their shopping to traditional bricks-and-mortar locations.

Smartphones, laptops, and tablets were the top product categories. Half of the respondents said they would buy a Samsung product, followed by Asus (40%), Microsoft (38%), and Apple (28%). Fewer than 10% of the respondents said they would consider a smartwatch (9%) or fitness device (8%).

The report found that tech consumers relied on product reviews (86%) and articles by experts (74%) to help them make their buying decisions. Social media (18%) and advertising (12%) were at the bottom of the sources list.

“Consumers value a multichannel shopping environment and they look to product reviews and expert content to guide their purchase decisions,” said Purch CEO Greg Mason. “You can’t deny the authority and influences these resources have on technology enthusiasts in particular.”

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