Google released its Wireless Shopper Study for April 2013 and it showed some major trends in smartphone buying and shopping. Shoppers search for the device weeks before buying and now that many devices are available across carriers, they decide on the device first and then may change carriers for the best deal, especially if there is no contract necessary or the device has 4G LTE data access.
Over a third (35%) shop for the latest and greatest device which is more than the 25% who did so last year. The number one reason people shop for a new wireless device is that the can upgrade (42%). Other important factors are:
Wireless shoppers rate 4G (31%) and no contract plans (41%) as important.
Recently we looked at the T-Mobile deals and found that for the iPhone 5 it is the cheapest deal we suspect that the same will be true for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One depending upon the full retail price for each. The HTC One will not be available from Verizon Wireless at start.
One third of buyers select the phone first and then decide upon the best carrier for the phone. 48% of shoppers that switched carriers selected the phone first then the carrier. 66% of shoppers considered 2 or more phone models. 47% of purchasers considered 2 carriers.30% switch carriers when buying.
Most Wireless shoppers (80%) research online while research on mobile devices tripled since last year. This year's buyers are four times more likely to watch videos about smartphones as compared to last year.
Most will complete the transaction in-store while 80% research online, 65% purchase offline. 57% of consumers begin shopping over two weeks in advance of purchasing.
The proliferation of non-exclusive devices contributes to more switching, brand uncertainty and cross shopping so the best defense is to influence shoppers when they research.