mobile devicesThey aren’t buying as much online, but more US consumers are taking time to venture out on the Web to research tech accessories they may purchase, according to new market research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) go online via computer or mobile device to gather information and learn about tech accessories before deciding which, if any, to buy, CEA’s ¨2nd Annual Accessories at Retail¨ report reveals. That percentage rises to 77 percent for Millennials.

Consumers Research Tech Purchases Online
While more US consumers are using the Internet to research tech products their online purchases don’t keep pace, CEA points out. Less than one-third (30 percent) use a computer and just 7 percent use a mobile device to make final purchases.

Though tech accessories account for just 5 percent of overall consumer tech industry revenues, market revenue will reach a hefty $9.6 billion in 2015, a year-over-year increase of 4 percent. Tech accessories, moreover, are important contributors to revenue growth for CE devices, smartphones in particular, CEA highlights.

Growth in unit shipments and revenue for smartphone cases, chargers, portable chargers, headphones, earphones and other wireless tech accessories will grow at double-digit rates going forward, according to CEA’s latest ¨U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts¨ report.

Price, convenience and ease of browsing were the top reasons US consumers shop online, according to CEA. Fewer than 1 in 10 (7 percent) use an e-commerce site or mobile app’s´¨click to purchase¨ functionality, however.

Apps Vs. Websites
CEA found that nearly 6 in 10 of the consumers (57 percent) who said they use mobile devices to buy tech accessories use an e-commerce website. Half (51 percent) said they use a mobile app.

In addition, respondents to CEA’s latest survey on consumer tech accessories said store displays (31 percent), recommendations from friends or family (29 percent) and helpful salespeople (10 percent) were the biggest influences on the tech accessory purchases they make in stores. That said, more consumers are venturing online for help.

“Consumers want to ask questions and get demonstrations during the purchasing process,” CEA senior director for market research Steve Koenig was quoted as saying.

“Online and physical retailers, along with manufacturers, need to look for innovative ways to accommodate this dynamic. As more and more consumers use their mobile devices to find and purchase accessories, features like live chats, short video demos or online tutorials can help retailers increase the likelihood of winning the sale.”

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