A deep dive into consumers’ browsing and buying behavior in the electronics category shows consumers know what they want and how to find it.

Consumers purchasing electronics know what they want and where to find it.

At least that’s what a new study from search advertising firm HookLogic found. The study looked at the browsing and buying behavior of online electronics shoppers.

Consumer electronics stands as the largest online shopping category in the United States, accounting for 21% of total online sales, according to market research firm Euromonitor. A similar firm, eMarketer, estimates that online sales of consumer electronics totaled $57.4 billion in 2013 and will hit $108.4 billion in 2018.

HookLogic commissioned Markettree LLC to survey 500 consumers who had shopped online within the past three months. The study also looked at transaction data from 10 million online retail transactions across the HookLogic network of retailers, representing more than $1 billion in U.S. sales from July 2013 through June 2014.

Consumers buying electronics visited an average of 2.9 different e-commerce sites, with more than half visiting more than three sites. Only 13% visited just one site. But consumers aren’t necessarily comparison shopping. “Only 26% of consumers like to compare products across multiple web sites, with 49% comparing products within the same site,” the report says.


When it comes to conversion rates, the electronics category lags behind other consumer product categories. The study measured the “Conversion Efficiency,” the ratio of units sold to product page views, and found the rate for electronics was one-third of the rate for other categories. “Relative to other categories, electronics shoppers have much longer purchase cycles,” the report says. This means consumer start researching electronics purchases weeks and even months before buying, which lowers the conversion rate.

But when they do purchase, consumers spend a lot. Consumers spent an average of $686 on electronics in the past threee months, 36.4% more than $503, the average of all categories. On average, consumers buy 1.4 electronics item per transaction.