Purch Survey on Tech Choices 2014

Tech Buyers: What Influences Us And How Loyal Are We?

December 1, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

With holiday buying at an all-time frenzy this time of year, Purch polled 3,373 “tech enthusiasts” in their annual survey, 2014 Tech Buying Trends Research. This was to see if they could get a handle on retail tech buying trends and there are some surprising results.  The figures take into account Q1 – Q3 of 2014 and were gathered via site intercepts across some top consumer sites.

Findings show that the days of carrier loyalty no longer exist with 52-percent of those buying a new smartphone in Q3 saying that they are considering switching carriers.  During the survey period, Verizon was the top carrier in all three quarters of those that were thinking of opening up new accounts with.  In the Q1 it was Verizon with 36-percent, followed by T-Mobile at 33-percent and AT&T was 23-percent.  In the Q2, Verizon was at 36-percent, AT&T was second at 33-percent and T-Mobile at 28-percent.  In the Q3, Verizon moved up to 39-percent, AT&T had 31-percent and T-Mobile was at 29-percent…what, nobody considered switching to Sprint?  Despite the complaining we hear online about Verizon, it is the number one carrier most people would choose to switch over to as their new carrier.

When it comes to brand interest, the top ten looked like this: Samsung topped the list at 50-percent, closely followed by Asus at 40-percent and Microsoft at 38-percent. Tied in fourth place with 28-percent of interest was Apple, LG, and Sony while tied at fifth with 25-percent was Dell and HP. Lenovo came in next at 20-percent and rounding out the top ten is Toshiba at 19-percent.  I was surprised that Motorola did not make the top ten and I was also surprised that Microsoft was in third place – maybe a surging interest in its new Surface tablet…it certainly is not in their smartphones.  It will be interesting to see how next year fares with Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola and if it will make a difference in the standings.

The survey also discovered that 74-percent of us tech people prefer to do “Multichannel” Shopping. In other words, we like to shop both online and in-stores. Only 19-percent said they would shop online only and 4-percent in-store only.  My take from that is that people will sometimes look in the store to physically see the product and then go home and buy it online…however, there are MANY young people that want it NOW, and even 2-3 days is too long to wait when ordering online. At 61-percent, Amazon tops the list of retailers, followed by Best Buy at 45-percent and Direct from the manufacturer at 30-percent.

Companies that spend a fortune on advertising – put away your money as only 12-percent of those surveyed reply on or give two-hoots about advertising when making a purchase. Techies rely on Product Reviews the most with a whopping 86-percent of us trusting reviewers.  News or Articles by Experts was next at 74-percent, and information provided by the Brand or Company fell in at 45-percent. Social media is way down at 18-percent, but still ahead of advertising!  Techies are more willing to investigate their potential purchase then simply take a company’s word about a device.

During the Q1, Laptops and Tablets were the top two categories considered for a purchase and remained strong through the Q2 and Q3 periods.  Interest in smartphones grew each quarter and by Q3, it topped the list as the top tech device for purchase. This makes sense as most new smartphones are released for purchase during the second and third quarter – we techies always want the latest and greatest. With the holiday season approaching one would think that wearables and fitness devices would start to gain in interest and sales. However, this was not the case, as over the entire three quarters, smartwatches stayed at 9-percent and wearable fitness devices were only at 8-percent.

Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you fall into these categories and if you are planning any techie purchases for the holidays…as always, we would love to hear from you.