Female CE Shoppers Turn to Blogs Over SocNets for Advice

January 13, 2012

blogher-ce-advice.jpgWomen more often turn to advice from blogs than use information or status updates on a social network to help with a consumer electronics (CE) purchase, according to a survey released in January by BlogHer, which polled a sample of women from the general population and a sample from the BlogHer community. General population respondents were 30% more likely to use advice from blogs than information or updates from a social network (69% vs. 53%), while BlogHer community respondents were 50% more likely to do so (84% vs. 56%).

Sites More Popular Than SocNets for Info

When asked their preferred source for information about CE products, visiting a store (74%) led among general population respondents, ahead of manufacturer site (61%), CE review site (51%), and blog reviews (48%). Just 29% cited social networks, with mobile phone applications (15%) and Twitter (8%) also trailing distantly.

Among BlogHer respondents, blog reviews and recommendations (69%) led by a wide margin, followed by CE review sites (48%), visits to a CE store (47%), and manufacturer site (46%). Social networks (35%) also lagged among these respondents, as did Twitter (19%) and mobile phone apps (3%).

Product Must Meet The Eye

blogher-ce-marketing-approaches.jpgThe top marketing approach that makes general population women think more favorably about a consumer electronics brand is the product being on a website, forum, or blog that they visit (52%). This is also important to a significant proportion (46%) of the BlogHer community women, behind only the product being reviewed by bloggers they read regularly (56%).

Product discounts also score well, chosen by 46% of general population women and 38% of the BlogHer community sample. Roughly one-quarter of each sample said that a product supporting a cause helped them think more favorably about the CE brand. Marketing approaches using celebrity endorsers, Facebook or Twitter, TV ads, or those targeted especially for women appeared at the bottom of the list.

Multicultural Women Outpace Whites in Mobile Use

70% of the Asian women in the general population and BlogHer samples combined report having ever used their mobile phone to help with a CE purchase, with African American women (68%) following closely. The majority of Hispanic women (58%) have also used their mobile phone for CE shopping assistance, while half of the Caucasian women surveyed had done so.

Breaking down the results by age, BlogHer found that 58% of women aged 18-45 in the combined sample said they had used their mobile phone to help with a CE purchase, ahead of those aged 65-76 (44%) and those aged 46-64 (38%).

African Americans Quick to Adopt

50% of African American women in the combined BlogHer and general population samples self-identify as either early adopters (17%) or leading edge (33%) when it comes to wanting the latest electronic gadget, followed by Hispanics (35%), Asians (34%), and Caucasians (27%).

According to a November 2011 report from Nielsen, mulitcultural women show higher levels of smartphone adoption than their white counterparts: more than 3 in 5 African American, Hispanic, and Asian American women in the US have a smartphone in their household, compared to just one-third of Caucasian women.

Yet, although a significant proportion of women self-identified as leading edge, a plurality of respondents to the BlogHer survey in each ethnicity said they were price conscious when it comes to their gadget desire, led by Hispanics (49%) and Caucasians (49%).

Other Findings:

  • When asked to choose their two most indispensable CE devices, mobiles or smartphones (79%) led computers or laptops (77%) and TVs (29%) among general population women, while computers or laptops (89%) proved more valuable than mobiles or smartphones (80%) to BlogHer women.
  • In the combined sample, younger adults aged 18-27 cited being “super-fast” as the leading reason for loving their gadgets, while older adults, aged 46-64, chose “light weight” as their top reason.

About the Data: The BlogHer survey fielded two samples online from December 12 – 16, 2011. The general population sample was drawn from 7 US markets (NY, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, San Diego, Denver, and Portland), and consisted of 565 completed surveys. The BlogHer community sample size was 741.

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