Tag Archives: WalMart

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.

Leave a Comment

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

8.5 million Smartphone users intend to churn – reported in MetaFacts TUP survey

Chart: Carrier Churn by Mobile Phone Type

Carrier Churn by Mobile Phone Type

A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, MetaFacts Principal Analyst

How strong are intentions to switch carriers, and does this vary by mobile phone type?

Intention to churn is a key concern for wireless carriers and handset manufacturers alike. Based on our most recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP) surveys, 21% of Smartphone users intend to switch carriers when their contracts expire. This is based on over 7,000 representative respondents who regularly use a mobile phone and either agree or strongly agree with the statement: “I plan to switch carriers when my contract expires.”

Smartphone churn intention raters are a much higher churn rate than among basic feature phone users, with 14% planning to switch. Since there are so many basic mobile phone users, even at a lower rate, this group outnumbers Smartphone users, standing at 16 million subscribers poised to change.

There is the chance that when basic phone subscribers switch, they will move to a Smartphone. This is not a certainty, however, as many subscribers are finding ways to get their needs met with their basic feature phones. Also, switching to a Smartphone is not the only reason subscribers switch carriers, they also report dissatisfaction with customer service and unsatisfying network coverage. In the report, we specify how much lower network and customer service satisfaction is among AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers than other carriers such as Verizon.

Furthermore, pre-paid subscriptions are on the rise, as subscribers let their fingers do the walking to exercise their dissatisfaction with the restrictions of term plans. Brands and sub-brand such as Net10 and Straight Talk offered in WalMart through MVNO America Movil are just one example of likely rapid entrants to join the fray of prepaid brands TracFone, Virgin, Leap and others.

Analysis

Consumers are fickle, and vote with their pocketbooks. Once they start considering defecting from a carrier, they look at competitive handsets served by other carriers, just as they have in the past. Now, however, more subscribers have broadened their consideration set to include pre-paid agreements. Also, we expect some Smartphone users to retreat back to basic mobile phones, due in part to overwhelm with complex & costly agreements, or with the handsets and apps themselves. Although any market movement away from Smartphones may be considered heresy by fanboys and early tech adopters, many regular people consider anything with thousands of apps and hundreds of features to be an overcomplicating negative.

From the changes evident from high churn intention and low satisfaction rates, the outlook is for a continued fracturing of the mobile phone market. The early adopters with Smartphones will form the bulk of a Smartphone replacement market as concerned carriers placate them with newer handsets. Meanwhile, they will also be heavily courted by competitors, so may defect even before their plans terminate. At the other end of the spectrum, the segment of pre-paid plan basic mobile phone users will continue to attract defectors from plans they see as onerous, carriers they are dissatisfied with, or from phones they see as overly complicated. MetaFacts expects less activity from other segments in the near term.

Most certain today is that mobile phone users express resistance to having their phones pried from their fingers. Most do, however, plan to change carriers, handsets, subscription plans, and how they use them.

Source

MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition – report available by contacting MetaFacts. 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 communication products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, chat, and webcams – see the other communication-oriented questions TUP covers on www.technologyuser.com.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, 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 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. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

5 Comments

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