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Study: Many consumers still don't buy electronics online

You might think that consumers in the Internet era would want to purchase their electronic products online. In fact, the NPD Group's newest study shows that's not really the case for many of the most popular consumer electronics items. While the vast majority of shoppers do a lot of research online before they buy an electronics device, some products are still mostly bought in brick and mortar stores. For example, only 19 percent of people surveyed by NPD said they would be "extremely" or "very likely" to buy a new television online, even though 56 percent of them research which TV they want to buy online.

Other products that people are reluctant to buy on a web site include a Blu-Ray player (21 percent), a camcorder (also 21 percent) and oddly enough a mobile phone or smartphone (23 percent). The products with the highest percentage of people willing to pay for them online include computers and computer software (both 34 percent), an eReader (32 percent) and a digital camera (30 percent).

According to NPD's vice president Stephen Baker, "Part of consumers' unwillingness to purchase certain electronics online might be due to a lack of awareness, or as a result of the slow pace taken by many traditional CE companies establishing a direct-to-consumer buying presence on the Web, or it could be something inherent in the products themselves, such as price or complexity. Whatever the cause, the result is a badly skewed online sales mix that relies heavily on a narrow range of products, and one that doesn't adequately address some of the more exciting growth opportunities."

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