The GfK Purchase Journey study, monitoring the smartphone and tablets in Romania, UK, Russia and Belgium, showed that many people that buy such items first make an online research (77% in Romania, 86% in UK, 92% in Belgium and 95% in Russia). Still, online searches don’t necessarily translate into online sales.
The typical conduit is informing online and buying offline, a trend that tends to continue as buyers consider their smartphone and tablet as very personal items and need to touch the product and test its functions before buying. Moreover, they want to verify the info they collected online and to avoid the cost and time for the delivery so that is why the preferred buying method is offline, in the stores.
The average time spent researching online info for the 4 researched markets is of 52 minutes, with big differences between countries: Brits spend most time (70 minutes) and Russian – the least (24 minutes), while Romanians collect online info for 63 minutes while Belgians spend 52 minuted doing the same thing.
As the searches don’t happen all in one session, GfK study shows that the entire buying process vary from minimum 15 days in Romania to 17 days in Russia and 21 in Belgium. Brits seem to be the most careful when they do their research, with their buying process being twice bigger than for the other markets (41 days).
In all the countries covered by the study, producers and telecom operators websites represent a key info source for buyers, same as price comparison websites. Although the perception related to brands is strongly influenced by social media, opinions expressed by other people in social media proved to be of little influence within the buying process. The exception is represented by iPhone buyers, for which word-of-mouth plays an important role.
According to the study, when buying a smartphone or tablet, only 6% of Russian relay on social media, as do 8% of Romanians, 14% of Brits and 22% of Belgium buyers.