October 25, 2006
According to a recent study done by the BIG-Research and Home Electronics Journal, knowledgeable
and affluent consumers in the U.S. were early Internet adopters. New data that shows this group's
continuing fondness for researching purchases online is no surprise.
What should get search marketers' attention is that affluent consumers not only overwhelmingly
research consumer electronics purchases on the Web, but that they use several means to do so.
Meanwhile, the report found that 93 percent of U.S. affluent consumers research upcoming
consumer electronics purchases. It also revealed that over 62 percent used both product Web
sites and search engines to do so.
At the same time, another 27.4 percent used email newsletters as part of their research process.
This research also found that more than fifty percent of American affluent consumers plan
to make computer purchases online. Besides underscoring the ongoing merit of Dell's online
direct sales model, this finding suggests that PC makers should not shy away from carrying high-end
Although it may seem odd to the average PC buyer to consider buying a $5,000-plus Alienware
or similar de-luxe model without seeing it first, affluent consumers' general Web expertise makes
this type of sale more natural.
None of this will come as news to those selling computer products. In fact, "computing products"
was the second-largest category of online advertisers over the past two years, according to the
Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
But computing products advertising as a share of total online spending has been dropping for three
years now, from 20 percent of all online advertising in 2003 to 18 percent in 2004.
Overall, eMarketer expects the category to account for about 15 percent of all online advertising
last year, increasing slightly to 16 percent next year, to reach $2.8 billion.
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