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Beyond “Paper or Plastic?” to “Refilled, Original or Compatible?”-MetaFacts TUPdate

Beyond “Paper or Plastic?” to “Refilled, Original or Compatible?”

A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

Ink refill usage is substantial, especially among some leading-edge market segments.

There’s an old marketing adage about giving away the razor to make it up selling razor blades. In the PC printer business, printer ink pays a lot of the bills, yet is increasingly at risk.

In our most recent wave of Technology User Profile, American adults told us they continue to prefer original ink versus compatible or refilled cartridges. However, the ink loyalty rate varies by PC printer brand and market segment. One bellwether segment is decidedly using refills or sharing photos online.

We started this analysis by first looking at the answers from 8,175 U.S. respondents in the Technology User Profile service and then drilled down further into their profiles including factors such as their printer brand, type of ink used, years of PC experience, and age. We also compared usage from our prior waves, including results from our identical surveys across nine other countries.

In U.S. homes, original is strongest. Kodak & Lexmark have the highest ink loyalty, at 81% and 79%, respectively. Eight in ten adults who use these PC printer brands as their primary printer used an original ink cartridge by the same manufacturer as the printer.

Ink Type by Printer Brand

HP’s ink loyalty rate is not the strongest, with HP ranked third. HP is maintaining its strength: its ink loyalty rate at 73% is slightly up from 70% the prior year.

These high ink loyalty rates may be satisfactory enough for some printer manufacturers, yet as consumers change their printing behaviors, and even non-printing behaviors, these rates are likely to change as well.

Use of refilled ink is highest for Dell and Brother, both with 27% of adult printer users. Due to HP’s dominant market share, the number of users of refills for HP printers is almost equal to users of refills for all other brands combined.

The refilled market is broad and diverse, so unlikely to change overnight. It it served by a diverse group – spanning drug stores such as Walgreens, franchises like Cartridge World, to a small army of entrepreneurs and do-it-yourselfers with pliers and squeeze bottles.

Direct competition is strong, although compatible inks trail refills as the least-preferred option across most brands. Use of competitive compatible inks is highest for Epson and Brother, at 19% and 18%, respectively.

Compared with many other developed countries, the U.S. has some of the most ink-loyal consumers. Our prior wave of Technology User Profile across key countries revealed that ink loyalty rates are strongest in Japan and the US and weakest in Germany and the UK, and that use of refills is highest in South Korea and Germany.

Home Photo Printing – Ink & Options

Looking ahead, the ink business continues to face challenges both from within the printer and ink industry as well as from substitutes.

Printer manufacturers hoping to reclaim refill customers face an uphill battle beyond pricing, since a higher rate of refill users share photos online and a lower rate print photos. Adults who use refills have higher rates of using online photo-sharing services, sharing images across a social network, sharing on their own websites or blogs, and sharing folders online through a cloud storage service. They are an attractive segment, though, because when they print, they print at higher volumes.

To the extent that younger users are bellwether of future buyers, it’s important to note that younger adults use refills at a higher rate than older adults.

Looking further ahead, increased online collaboration is expected to continue the erosion of home-printing photos. Of the 70.9 million adults with a home printer which they don’t use to print photos, most of their sharing is done online. The greatest upside is likely to come from the broad general increase in images from user’s own smartphones, feature phones and cameras, as well as the many photos they receive online from friends and others.

Source

The results in this TUPdate are drawn from the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Survey. Results specific to this topic can be obtained through a customized report and analysis. Or contact MetaFacts for the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition report, which covers the broader range of key trends. View findings in 25 pages of executive summary analysis, 200+ pages of charts and graphs, all supported by 95+ pages of detailed tables. The complete, 300+ page report is delivered to you electronically. This edition is for the U.S. based on the 2010 wave of Technology User Profile gathered among a scrupulously selected set of representative respondents, surveyed both online and offline.

To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other questions TUP answers on www.technologyuser.com. Tech market research professionals who want a solid resource they can use immediately after industry events such as mergers, or even use prior to anticipated events, can license direct access to TUP.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry trends and facts. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Technology User Overview Report, TUP 2010, TUPdate

Sony mobile PC users shop at a broader selection of outlets

Sony’s mobile PC users are the most widely-shopping customers. They regularly visit more retail and online shopping outlets than any other brand’s customers, with an average of 8.1 outlets compared to the average of 6.4.

The top eight outlets for Sony customers in ranked order are Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, eBay, Walgreens, and Office Depot.

At the low end of the shopping spectrum are Acer and Gateway’s mobile PC users, who each visit the least number of outlets, at 5.6 each. Their top six outlets are the same to each other, if ranked slightly different: Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon, Target, eBay, and Walgreens.

Outlets Visited Varies by Mobile PC Brand - Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

Outlets Visited Varies by Mobile PC Brand – Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

The Mobile PC Profile Report is available for immediate purchase through the online store at the MetaFacts website – MetaFacts.com

Other findings in the Mobile PC Profile Report include:

Brand Shares of Mobile & Desktop PCs
Mobile PC Brands by Year Acquired
Market Segments and Mobile PC Brands
Operating Systems & Mobility
Operating Systems on Mobile PCs – Pre-installed or Aftermarket?
Operating Systems by Mobile PC Brand
User Age and Mobile Computing
User Age and Mobile PC Brand
User Gender and Mobile PC Brand
Age within Gender of Primary Computer User and Mobile PC Brand
Number of Locations by Gender and Age
Employment Status and Mobile Computing
Employment Status and Mobile PC Brands
Market Segment by Mobile PC Brand
Big & Small Companies and PC Mobility
Educational Level and Mobile PC Brand
Household Income by Mobile PC Brand
Age of Kids and Mobility of PC
Mobility Doesn’t Always Mean Mobile Use
Locations for Mobile PCs
Public PC Locations by Mobile PC Brand
Mobile PC Brand by Number of Locations Used
Mobile PC Users and the Total Number of PCs Used
Mobile PC Brand by Number of PCs Regularly Used
PC Purchase Year by Mobility
New versus Used/Refurbished by Mobile PC Brand
Hours of Use by Mobile PC Brand
Busy Mobile PCs and Mobile PC Brands
Activities and Mobility
Major Activities Point Out that Mobile PC Brands Vary
Tech Attitude Gap between Mobile PC and Desktop Users
Tech Attitudes by Mobile PC Brand
Brand Loyalty by Mobile PC Brand
Scanners by Mobile PC Brand
Docking Solutions by Mobile PC Brand
Firewire Usage by Mobile PC Brand
Sony Mobile PC Users Shop at a Broader Selection of Outlets
Which Mobile PC Users Frequent which Online and Retail Outlets
Retail Purchase Channels & Outlets by Mobile PC Brand
Online Purchase Channels & Outlets by Mobile PC Brand

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry topics. These Profile Reports are in a series on specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008

Where are the Circuit City shoppers?

Today, Circuit City formally announced bankruptcy restructuring under Chapter 11.

In this heaviest quarter for year-end consumer electronics holiday purchases, any change by a major retailer sets off a billard-ball type effect with competitors. As they ready their competitive responses, it’s most important to keep the eye on the customers.

As part of the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Outlets Profile Report, MetaFacts has found several very interesting tidbits in our consumer research.

Where else do Circuit City shoppers regularly shop and buy?

We asked 8,016 online households about their shopping behavior at 26 major retail and online outlets.

First, Circuit City shoppers are active shoppers – very active. On average, Circuit City shoppers shop at nearly three times as many outlets as online households that don’t shop at Circuit City. Regularly shopping and buying at 12.2 outlets means there is a lot of competition for these active buyers, and buyers already know the way elsewhere.

Where Else Circuit City Customers Shop

  • More than three-fourths (77%) of Circuit City’s customers also regularly shop at Best Buy, either at retail or online
    • This is an enormous overlap, given that only 37% of all online households regularly shop at Best Buy, either at retail or online
  • Just under two-thirds (65%) shop at Best Buy retail outlets
    • This is another large gap, as only 32% of all online households regularly shop at Best Buy retail
  • Less than a third (29%) shop at Best Buy online
    • The online gap is smaller, as 11% of all online households regularly shop at Best Buy online

For more information about the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Outlets Profile Report, or about Technology User Profile Reports, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Households, Market Research, Technology, TUP 2008

Retailer outlets and busy mobile PC users

The busiest mobile PC households shop similarly to the less-busy and less-mobile, but there are some differences. Five of the top six retail outlets where the Busiest Mobile PC Households have shopped are the same as other PC households. The differences are that Best Buy is ahead of Walgreens, and Office Depot ranks 6th among the busiest, and only 8th among the less-busy.

Where More of the Busiest Mobile PC Households Shop at Retail - Busy Mobiles Profile Report

Where More of the Busiest Mobile PC Households Shop at Retail – Busy Mobiles Profile Report

This information is released from the Busy Mobiles Profile Report, a Technology User Profile solution from MetaFacts. It is based on recent survey-based research, reporting directly from a representative sample of actual users. The Busy Mobiles Profile Report is available for immediate purchase through the online store at the MetaFacts website – MetaFacts.com

Other findings in the MetaFacts Busy Mobiles Profile Report include:

  • How many busy Mobiles?
  • Who are these busy users?
  • The Most Busy Mobile PC Users are in Certain Occupations
  • What keeps the busiest so busy?
  • Who Owns the Busiest Mobile PCs?
  • What are the Attitudes of the Busiest?
  • What Kinds of Mobile PCs are Used the Most?
  • Locations Where the Busiest Mobile PCs are Used
  • Where the Busiest Stop to Shop
  • Electronics Used by the Busiest Mobile PC Households
  • Shopping List of the Busy Mobile PC Household

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Broadband, Digital Imaging, and many other technology industry topics. These Profile Reports are in a series on specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300 or www.metafacts.com

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Filed under Consumer research, Households, TUP 2008