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Cranking Up the Volume

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Consumer electronics retailers are reporting slower sales, but a recent survey by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) suggests there are opportunities to crank up the sales volume and increase value to consumers.

The study, based on a web survey of 1,100 U.S. adults, reveals an opportunity for retail companies to market beyond the technologically confident, often male, consumer pool. It calls for retailers to reach out to a larger group of less tech-savvy shoppers with customer service programs designed to provide basic device educational training and product bundling that can ease the buying experience.

Among the key findings:
• Roughly one-third of today’s most active personal technology users don’t know how to use the products they purchase. They lack confidence in their ability to choose, operate and connect today’s devices -- and don’t have the knowledge to take full advantage of the devices’ capabilities.

• The early adopter segment for consumer electronics is comprised largely of young affluent males. However, the leaders in digital content consumption are women, particularly when it comes to Internet-based video, digital imagery and social media.

• More than 20 percent of the industry’s most active users seldom or never buy accessories, and more than 36 percent of that same group seldom or never buys go-with items. There is a clear correlation between a respondent’s confidence in using advanced device features and how much he or she buys at retail.

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