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Singaporeans take a considered approach to tablet purchase

by Shuhui Heng , 23.02.2015

We recently undertook a study to understand how consumers in Singapore buy tablets. While tablets may attract highly discerning, online savvy consumers, the vast majority (87%) of consumers browse both virtually and in person for these high ticket items. If the importance of the physical store in the purchase of a connected device was ever in doubt, our study reveals that Singaporean consumers are nearly twice as likely to make their final purchase of a tablet in a store compared to online (72% vs 28%) .

An omnichannel approach is vital

Only 3% of people research exclusively online and 10% exclusively offline, highlighting the high degree of overlap between online and offline touchpoints. These figures also underline the critical importance to marketers of having a strong omnichannel approach that provides consumers with a compelling and consistent brand experience across all channels.

It is clear that consumers attach a significant amount of importance to their product research. 60% described their offline research as being “very important”, while half said the same about their online research. Four out of the top five touchpoints are found offline, the top being word of mouth, with 81% of consumers seeking personal recommendations from friends and family. Almost the same number (80%) will visit a specialist store.

This high incidence of consulting family and friends and visiting specialist stores shows that while tablets are a technology purchase, there is significant scope for individuals to influence purchase decisions. Maintaining positive word of mouth and ensuring shoppers have a positive experience in stores should therefore be a key objective for brands looking to win market share.

Search engines play a significant role in the purchase journey for most consumers and are the most commonly used online touchpoint at 52%. Typically, people make 8.9 visits to a search engine before making a purchase. Brand websites are next for the number of visits at 5.2. Brand device manufacturers and bricks and clicks retailers are the most frequently visited websites. More time is spent on brand websites overall – 19 minutes compared to 12 minutes for retailers and 11 for search engines. In terms of the different brand sites visited, Apple has by far the greatest reach at 20%, followed by Microsoft at 14%, and Samsung and Sony at 11% each.


Key considerations in purchasing decisions

Factors such as look and design of the tablet are as important in consumers’ purchasing decisions as price and functionality. Although more than 79% of those surveyed bought a tablet during the research period, of those who failed to make a purchase, it would appear that price was the main deterrent – more than half (57%) said that they were waiting for prices to drop and 52% said that they were waiting for a special offer.

Our research clearly shows that buying a tablet is a considered process for the vast majority of Singaporean consumers with them gathering information both online and offline before making a purchase decision. The challenge for brands is to ensure that they maintain multiple touchpoints to remain top of consumers’ minds and front of their wallets.

For more information, please contact Shuhui Heng at shuhui.heng@gfk.com.