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Technology Influencers Shopping Habits Reveal Key Insights for Consumer Electronic Retailers

CEA-CNET Study Finds Price Comparisons, Variety, and Lower Prices Draw People Online, but Purchases Still Made in Stores

Today’s technology-savvy consumers rely on the Internet to research products before they buy, but still prefer to make their purchases in-store, concluded the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET study, “Technology Influencers and Consumer Electronics Retail.” The new study, conducted by CNET (, where people go to discover the latest tech and consumer electronics, and a property of CNET Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNET), and CEA, explores the habits, adoptions, and perceptions of key segments of consumers as they relate to emerging consumer electronics products.

Technology influencers represent the early majority when it comes to purchasing and using tech and consumer electronics. Trends show that their habits appear in the general population about two years out. As a result, understanding today what they own, where they get their information, and what they care about in a shopping experience helps both manufacturers and retailers plan for the years ahead.

According to the survey, the average technology influencer spends approximately 8 hours researching a product, versus the average US adult who spends 3.5 hours. Among those technology influencers who have purchased online, they convey that the main benefits of online shopping include easy price comparisons (91 percent), a greater variety of products (86 percent) and lower prices (79 percent). While they report finding retail stores lacking in the variety of products and product information, one of the most compelling aspects of brick and mortar is the ability to fulfill the need for instant gratification. For consumer electronic retailers and manufacturers, the study provides insights into areas where they can improve overall customer satisfaction and experience.

“CNET’s audience has often been viewed as a reflection of future consumer technology spending and shopping habits,” said Claudia Haase, director of user research at “Our research partnership with CEA allows us to take a closer look at the current and potential landscape of consumers’ shopping habits, and offer the industry insights that help them plan and prepare for the future.”

“For the past five years, CEA and CNET have worked closely on research studies to evaluate and understand the habits, adoption and perceptions of the early adopter — information that aides retailers as they determine the best approach to this rapidly evolving marketplace,” said Tim Herbert, senior director of market research at CEA.

The “Technology Influencers and CE Retail” Study was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research and administered via random online intercept of the CNET audience. The study was completed in August 2007. Comparing this information to CEA research of the US population provides valuable insight into the direction of the market. For more information about this report, please contact your CNET Sales representative, go to for an executive summary, or contact CEA Market Research at (Ph) 703-907-7763.

About CEA
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $148 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,200 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES — Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at

About CNET
CNET ( is where people go to discover the latest in tech and consumer electronics. Driven by a trusted voice and a passionate community, CNET creates an open environment for people to find and use the best products to fit their lifestyle. The powerful combination of CNET’s award-winning news, lab-tested product reviews, safe and spyware-free downloads, and user-generated content give people information and inspiration to live and thrive in today’s digital world.

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