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Consumer Electronics Retailers Get High Marks From Customers, CEA Study Finds


New CEA Study Tracks Online/Store Retail Experience

Arlington, Virginia - Consumers are very satisfied when shopping online and at traditional retail outlets for consumer electronics (CE), according to new data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The study, Trends in CE Retailing, found that consumers and retailers have benefited from changes in the CE shopping and buying process.

Online retailers lead the way in customer satisfaction with a 90 percent net satisfaction rating, an increase of six percentage points since 2005, the last year the study was conducted. Consumers continue to rate their in-person shopping experience positively as they seek to demo products before buying and find comfort in having staff nearby to answer questions or provide assistance. Eighty-one percent of large CE retailers received excellent or good marks, unchanged from the 2005 study.

“Despite tough economic times, consumers continue to flock to stores and the Internet to buy consumer electronics products’ says Tim Herbert, CEA’s senior director of market research. ”As CE products become more interconnected and more sophisticated, it’s important for retailers to offer consumers the right mix of pre- and post- sale information and support options"

The Trends in CE Retailing study found that the CE retail experience is shifting, with cross channel activity on the rise. For example, in the past 12 months, nearly seven out of 10 consumers researched a CE product online before going to the store and making the purchase - an increase of roughly 20 percentage points in one year. Conversely, 31 percent of shoppers viewed a product in the store but bought it online. CEA expects to see more retailers optimize sales by providing customers a seamless experience between the retail store and the Internet. To meet this evolving marketplace, CEA has also revised its Retailer/Sales Channel Classifications, creating the most comprehensive and up-to-date listings of the changing CE retail landscape.

Another shift in the retail environment is the way in which information and technology are used by consumers and retailers. For example, word of mouth advertising has always been a critical component of selling; now, with the speed and efficiency of the Internet, word of mouth advertising has increased in importance. According to CEA research, nearly four in 10 CE buyers rely heavily on user generated comments and reviews when making a purchase decision. In fact, 20 percent report making CE purchase decisions based solely on user opinions or reviews.

“There is a net benefit to posting user feedback, says Herbert. ”While not every review may be favorable, allowing consumers to post their feedback and show their enthusiasm for a product can help entice new customers"

The Trends in CE Retailing study (September 2008) was fielded to a random national sample of 1,000 U.S. adults during August 15-18, 2008. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies at

For more information about the updated Retailer/Sales Channel Classifications, please go to .


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