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Consumers Tighten Belts When Buying Consumer Electronics, Survey Finds

When it comes to shopping for consumer electronics products, price is uppermost in consumers’ minds, according to a new survey. The sole exceptions are game consoles, where brand still trumps price, and internet appliances, because many products carry similar price tags.

To find out how the ever-increasing flood of new tech devices — and information about them — affects consumers, ABI Research polled 2,000 U.S. consumers about their purchasing plans and the features they most wanted in the devices on their wish lists. The results were then viewed in the context of the actual retail environment during the 2010 holiday season.

“Price-consciousness could easily explain how the TV manufacturers ended up with surplus stock: higher-end TVs did not fare as well as expected,” said industry analyst Michael Inouye. “It also forced many retailers and TV makers to offer incentives , either discounts or bundles. In many cases these bundles included 3D glasses, Blue-ray players or game consoles.”

For some shoppers, though, that wasn’t enough to gin up enthusiasm for buying. Many of the survey respondents said they intended to delay major purchases.

Consumers who are better-educated about tech products may also have been a factor.

“In the past, consumers may have known little about what was available and instead focused on brand , or on the advice of the retailer,” said Janet Wise, primary research director. “Now we see more savvy consumers who look for the greatest value as well as the best price.”

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.