Category Archives: Consumer research

Tech Purchase Plans – Some Wins and Some Fails (TUPdate)

Tech Purchase Plans – some wins and some fails – a TUPdate by Dan Ness

Some tech products seem to be on everyone’s shopping list, and yet that’s not really the case. Well, certainly smartphones and mobile PCs rank near the top, as they have for years. However, several highly-publicized products haven’t ranked in the top 20 while other less-acclaimed standbys continue to rank well.

Smartwatches by anyone except Apple or Google? Home Thermostats? Chromebooks? They’re not in the top 20, languishing along with basic feature phones. Only a small number of tech buyers are showing true interest.

Diving into the purchase plans from our most recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP 2016), we’ve identified some very interesting patterns.

What are the top-planned tech products?

Smartphones top the list of purchase plans, with the majority being among those who already use a smartphone. Gaming PCs are strong, with Gaming Desktop PCs drawing nearly triple the interest of Gaming Notebook PCs. Traditional Notebooks continue to rank strongly, while other mobile PC plans are split between 2-in-1 and convertible designs.metafacts-top-30-plans-2016-12-08_16-51-01

Fitness trackers show promise, handily outranking plans for smartwatches by Apple, Google, or any of the many languishing others.

Two products continuing to show steady demand are the venerable Printer and Tower Desktop. Both continue to be ranked in the top 10 for interest.

Apple’s iPad continues to show solid interest, benefiting from recent product refreshes. Plans for Android tablets, however, don’t measure up to Apple’s.

Hits for key segments

What’s interesting is that most tech plans are not evenly spread across all technology users, and instead several key segments have plans that stand out from the pack.

Any tech purchase plans by age

One simple difference between those planning and those not planning – age. Tech purchase plans are stronger among younger than older adults.metafacts-plans-overall-by-age-2016-12-07_15-53-38

Younger adults have stronger plans to purchase any of the 30 tech products we surveyed respondents about. Adults age 30-34 are the peak group with overall purchase plans, with 77% planning to buy at least one product in the coming year. At the other end of the age spectrum, adults age 70 or above are the nadir group with respect to purchase plans, with 29% planning to buy any of the surveyed tech products.

Sigma analysis show youthful intensity

A summation analysis reveals stronger purchase intensity among younger than older adults. The sigma – summation of the plans for all of the respective tech products – shows that adults age 30-39 have the strongest plans of any age group. This is a more intensive curve than the above penetration analysis, reflecting the much broader range of plans among younger adults.metafacts-plans-summation-by-age-2016-12-07_15-53-38

The six most-age-skewed tech products

Six tech products stand out for being age-skewed – with the largest differences between plans among older and younger adults.

Gaming Desktop PCs are at the top of the list, with respect to the widest difference between those with and without plans by age groups. It’s not as if these tricked-out desktops are only pulled towards the youngest among us. The group with the strongest plans are adults age 30-34, which reflects in part that these older adults have the means to pay for these more-powerful PCs. It is also due in part that older adults have more PC usage and experience, with productivity activities as in game planning.

Smartphones – both Apple iPhones and Androids – are more popular with younger than older adults. Since younger adults have higher penetration of smartphone usage than older adults, this reflects a strong replacement market. Conversely, low interest levels also reflects a low likelihood for the smartphone market to strengthen its penetration among older adults.metafacts-age-skewed-plans-by-age-2016-12-07_16-23-42

PC purchase intentions are strongest among age 35-39 adults for more than one PC form factor. This reflects the desire for expanded PC use among this important segment, and also this group’s openness to have PCs which are packaged in different formats.

Something for each, but not every, age group
There’s something for everybody. Each age group has its preferences, with some products at the top of mind of nearly every age group. While looking at the top three ranked products within each age group, we found some interesting patterns. Apple’s iPhone is singular because it’s top-ranked in all groups – in the top three for all 11 age groups. Android Smartphones aren’t very far behind, being top-ranked in 9 groups. That the two oldest groups didn’t report Android Smartphones on their future purchase list may be due in part to the phone or carrier brand having stronger recognition than the Google Android operating system.

Three tech products are strongest among generally older groups – traditional notebooks, printers, and fitness trackers. That 7 of the 11 age groups rank traditional notebooks in the top of their shopping list bodes well for the venerable PC.

Although wearables such as Apple’s Watch and Google Wear have garnered much media attention, neither are in the top three for any age group. One wearable is, though, and it’s fitness trackers. Despite advertising often featuring slim younger women in yoga pants, fitness trackers only rank among the top three items for adults who are age 70 and above. This category is partly an example of aspirational marketing, appealing to those who want to be something they aren’t (yet).

  • The Apple iPhone is among the top 3 for all 11 age groups
  • Android Smartphone – ranked in 9 age groups – younger adults
  • Traditional Notebook – ranked in 7 groups – older adults
  • Printer – ranked in 4 age groups – generally older adults
  • Gaming Desktop PC – ranked in 4 age groups – younger adults
  • Fitness Tracker – only ranks in the top 3 in one age group – age 70+

The six most-spending-skewed tech products

Six tech products stand out based on analysis of consumer tech spending by quartiles. Top spenders – those in the top 1/4th of total household tech spending – are above average in their purchase plans for nearly every tech product. What’s interesting are the tech products which have captured above average interest among the next tier of buyers – those that are in the 3nd-highest quartile of total tech spending.

Within this spending segment, the six tech products which show above-average plans include three Apple products, three wearables, and a fun-oriented category.

The uniquely-strong products from Apple include the iPhone, iPad, and Watch. Apple’s regular product line refresh has helped keep interest high.metafacts-plans-by-spend-2016-12-07_14-32-45

Interestingly, interest for fitness trackers outpaces smartwatches, even among the biggest spenders. This supports, in part, the notion that cost would be a primary barrier to smartwatch adoption. Even more so, it reflects the early stage wearables have in the user’s device collection. There is still plenty of experimentation ahead, as entrants come and go, as ecosystems flower and fade, and mostly as more mainstream users integrate wearable devices into their regular activities.

What you have today – and what you’ll have next – Plans by current device combination
Our research continues to show that future tech purchases are strongly affected by consumer’s current products. Two device combinations stand out as those with the strongest tech purchase plans. Users with a desktop, notebook, mobile, and a tablet make up 31% of connected adults, and those with a notebook, tablet, and mobile phone are 10% of adults. Users with other combinations have tech purchase plans below average.

Five tech products stand out by having stronger-than-average plans among these two popular combos. The Apple iPhone tops the list, with 13% of all connected adults planning to buy one. For those with all four devices – desktop, notebook, tablet, and mobile phone – 19% plan to get an Apple iPhone, well above the average. Those juggling three devices – notebook, tablet, and mobile phone – are also above average in planning to get an Apple iPhone, with 16% planning to get one.metafacts-plans-by-combo-2016-12-07_15-47-47

Purchase plans for traditional notebooks are also strong, and in this case strongest among this 2nd-ranked combination, representing an additional or replacement notebook for 13% of adults. Plans for the largest combination segment are also stronger than average, at 11% of these adults.

Other above tech products for both of these device-combination segments include a Fitness Tracker such as a FitBit, an Apple iPad, and an Android Tablet.

Looking ahead
Looking ahead, we expect the tech-device-rich to get tech-richer, with those who have the broadest collection of technology products and services to remain within that segment of super-tech users. Wearables are still having a tough time finding interest among a broad market, much less finding broad adoption.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

Numerous TUP sections feature analysis of spending plans. These include the Overview, Age Ranges, Age, Gender, Adoption Summary, PC Adoption, Mobile Phone Adoption, Adoption Years, Device Combinations, Primary and Secondary Devices, Devices OS Ecosystems, Brand Footprint, Key Devices, Key Devices/OS, Home-Family PCs, Recently Purchase PCs, Purchase Year, Tablets, Mobile Phones, Smartphone, Basic cell phone, Smartphone Data, Lines, Spending, Wearable Technology, Hearables/Listening, TVs, Music Players, and Social Networks sections.

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Filed under Consumer research, Desktops, Market Research, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016

Home Printer Brands-from Refillers & Laggards to Bigger Spenders (TUPdate)

Home Printer Brands-from Refillers & Laggards to Bigger Spenders – Dan Ness, November 18, 2016

Home printer makers do their best to make innovate products, manage their distribution, and support their customers – all while competing. Buyers, meanwhile, make their choices. Interestingly, all home buyers aren’t created equally, and some brands have carved out a customer base which may or may not be favorable for them.

Home printer buyers can be tough on some brands. Some users choose refills instead of new ink, while others spend much more on supplies and technology than the users of other brands. Meanwhile, others have a longer printer replacement cycle.

Older and newer printersMetaFacts-td1611-home-printer-age

HP can justifiably claim that home printer owners get longer use. Users of HP Home Printers use older printers than do users of other major home printer brands. The average printer age is 2.4 to 2.6 years for printers being used in the prior 90 days by Brother, Canon, or Epson home printer users. In contrast, among HP home printer users, the average printer age is 3 years.

Active with images and graphics

Users with some brands have attracted more or less graphics-oriented users. There is a different profile based on their breadth of graphics and image-oriented activities across their connected devices, such as PCs, Tablets, and Smartphones.Metafacts-td1611-home-printer-activity-breadth

Users of Brother Home Printers have the widest range of graphics/image activities. Breadth of use is higher than those with other home printer brands. Nearly half (46%) of Brother home printer users are in the top-third.

Uniquely-strong activities with connected devices among Brother home printer users are creating personal graphics/presentations (38% of Brother users vs. 28% nationally) and work graphics/presentations (37% versus 28% nationally).

Use of refills

Whose Home Printer customers are most likely to use refilled ink/toner?metafacts-td1611-home-printer-refills

Among major home printer brands, Epson’s users have the highest rate of using refilled ink cartridges. Over one-third (35%) do so, a 53% higher rate than the national average of 23%. Just over a quarter (26%) of Canon’s home printer brands do.

Tech spending

Brother’s home printer users spend the most on their home technology devices and services. Over one-third (34%) of these users are in the top quartile of consumer technology spenders. Brother home printer users spend substantially more than users of other major home printer brands. At $10.2k per year, this is 30% higher than the national average of $7.9k.metafacts-td1611-home-printer-spending

Brother’s home printer users also outspend on levels on ink, toner, and paper. Compared to the national average, their annual spend of $980 is 53% higher than the national average of $640.

Experience levels

Epson’s home printer users have the least tech experience. Twenty percent first started using a desktop PC within the last 8 years, versus the 12% national average. Similarly, 37% first started using a basic cell phone within the last 8 years, a rate 54% higher than the national share of 24%.metafacts-td1611-home-printer-adoption

HP is at the other end of the spectrum, having attracted a more-experienced tech users. Although this measure of tech adoption – years  since first using a given device – also reflects older users, when correcting for age, this same pattern holds true. Epson has a higher share of tech laggards than other home printer brands. Comparing similarly-aged users, more of Epson’s users were laggards – in the last 16% to adopt desktops, notebooks, smartphones, basic cell phones, and tablets.

Among customers with less tech experience, support costs can be higher, and products, marketing messages, and instructions need to be simpler and clearer. Being strong in any particular market segment may have benefits, however if they’re more expensive to support and sell too, over the long run other segments may be more worthwhile to pursue.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

The TUP 2016 Printers Chapter details printer brands, types, printing activities, and other key analysis points. The TUP 2016 Technology Adoption Chapter drills down into experience to profile Early Adopters, the Early and Late Majority, and Laggards.

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Filed under Consumer research, Graphics and Image, Market Research, Printers

Are most home printers purchased where ink is? (MetaFAQs)

Our research shows that most home printers are purchased in one type of outlet, and ink bought somewhere else.

For home printers, Discount retail store such as Wal-Mart or Target and Consumer electronics stores such as Best Buy collectively account for nearly half of the outlets where home printers are purchased. By contrast, consumer electronics stores account for only one in nine home printer ink purchase outlets. Instead, half of printer ink outlets are Office supply retailers such as Office Depot and discount retail stores.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0009-2016-11-02_10-57-55

It’s a conflict that has been a conundrum for printer manufacturers for many years. Subscription services such as Hewlett Packard’s Instant Ink have started to change the formula. These programs bypass brick-and-mortar and online retailers alike to entice many printer users to simply buy direct. They also have the benefit to printer manufacturers of reducing consumer’s consideration of options for buying and using refilled ink.

This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapters with the most information about activities is the TUP 2016 Printers Chapter.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Printers, TUP 2016

Who spends most on tech – older or younger adults? (MetaFAQs)

In many tech circles, there’s a strong attention on the youngest adults. How true is it that younger adults spend more than older adults?

Our research shows that when it comes to household tech spending, age matters, although it’s not that simple.

First of all, while the youngest adults often are the most enthusiastic about technology, they don’t have the same financial means of older adults.

The majority of household tech spending is among adults age 30-39.metafacts-mqxxxx-tech-spending-x-age-2016-11-01_07-51-20

More importantly, when adjusting for employment status – including the self-employed – the analysis is clearer. Employed adults out-spend those not employed from ages 25 to 54.

There’s a “late life kicker” that’s important to note. After age 60, household tech spending is stronger among those not employed than those employed. Also, although employment rates decline with age, total household tech spending is stronger among the age 65-69 group than the age 55-59.

This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users. Specifically for this analysis, we looked at household tech spending along 15 categories of technology devices and services, from PCs, printers, and routers to Internet and mobile phone service.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapters with the most information about activities is the TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter, which includes sections more deeply analyzing by age and life stage.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Demographics & Econographics, Households, Market Research, MetaFAQs, TUP 2016

Girls are gamers, too, although not everywhere (MetaFAQs)

There’s a rampant rumor that girls aren’t gamers. This has not been true for many years, and yet the idea seems to persist.

One reason is partly related to another stereotype which has some truth in this case: “The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys”.

By far, males are the major users for gaming desktops and gaming notebooks, using them at twice and three times the rate of females.mq0674-game-players-by-device-type-2016-10-17_16-05-57 These tricked-out, souped-up, and (sometimes) overclocked PCs are created to offer superior gaming experiences. Some are also designed to allow game enthusiasts to get under the hood and further extend the capabilities.

Females outnumber males for regular game-playing on Smartphones and Tablets, and by a wide margin. Sixty-one percent of active Smartphone gamers are female and 59% of Tablet PC gamers. This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.

Gaming PC makers HP, ASUS, Acer and Dell/Alienware have a challenge ahead to win over the hearts and minds of female gamers. These are an important segment to attract, too. Not only are they active game players across many platforms, they also spend substantially on tech products and services of all kinds.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active game-players.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapter with the most information about game players across all devices and platforms is the TUP 2016 Game Consoles, Gaming PCs and Game-Playing Chapter.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, Entertainment, MetaFAQs, Notebooks, TUP 2016