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Press Release

Report reveals key influences behind consumer tech purchases: user-generated reviews nearly as important as friends and family

  • 81% identify price as most influential factor in tech buying decisions

  • Nearly half (45%) buy gadgets to make life easier, versus 4% to be tech trendsetters

  • Consumer reviews compete with friends and family for greatest influence

26th July 2012, London – A new online study, published today by UK tech PR agency EML Wildfire, reveals a complex ecosystem of buying power and influence around consumer tech products in today’s multi-channel world. The research-based report: ‘Why Buy? What influences consumer tech purchases?’, available for download at, reveals new insights into the shifting nature of the decision-making process and what influences consumer tech buying decisions.

What do they read and what do they want?
The breadth of influential sources is increasing for consumers who have bought technology products, but it’s notable that friends and family are still the most popular, cited by 52% of those polled. However, there appears to be increasing significance of user-generated content, with 51% saying they trust user and consumer reviews on retail sites. Detailed expert reviews are also influential for 44% of those questioned.

When it comes to motivation to invest in new consumer tech, ‘making life easier’ jostled with the desire to replace out-of-date or broken devices at the top of the board (45% and 44% respectively.) Only 12% cited loyalty as an influence on their buying habits, suggesting it is now an open field for intelligent, innovative consumer-focused businesses to make an impact on the market with the right product.

Demographic Choice
Demographics play an enormous role in the findings. For example, 19% of 18-24 year olds are likely to influence a choice but are rarely responsible for the final decision in their household, significantly higher than the national average (6%). Meanwhile, while gender is not as clear an indicator as it may once have been, there are still significant variations within the family and in areas such as likelihood of receiving tech as a present to add to their technology collection in the next year (30% for women vs 18% for men).

Read the full report for more detail on how different personas in different demographics make their key buying decisions.

Debby Penton, Director at EML Wildfire, says the findings send a clear message to consumer tech brands: “The ‘pre-shopping’ experience is evolving as fast as technology itself, providing new sources of info for consumers’ decisions and new opportunities for businesses that hope to influence them. However, it all comes down to one constant: understanding those audiences and communicating with them through the channels that they trust most, whatever shape those take.”


About EML Wildfire
EML Wildfire is a UK technology PR agency with global reach.  We have developed a PR methodology and skill-set that combines traditional media relations with social media skills and marketing expertise to help clients maximise commercial impact in the digital age.  We place compelling content at the heart of multi-channel communications campaigns that build market leadership positions and deliver measurable results for our clients.

We are headquartered in South West London on the banks of the River Thames with an office in Cambridge, the UK's technology heartland. Our flexible international agency network facilitates the delivery of scalable international campaigns tailored for each client’s budget and global PR requirements.

Follow us on Twitter or read latest thoughts and opinions on our tech PR blog.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2148 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th - 29th June 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Debby Penton, EML Wildfire
0208 408 8000