September 21st, 2012

Electronics consumers willing to pay more for responsibly produced products, says CNN Survey

As the spotlight increasingly shines on manufacturers’ commitment to ethical business practices, two thirds (65%) of global consumers say they are willing to pay more for electronics products that have been responsibly produced, according to CNN International’s ‘Consumer Connect – Consumer Electronics 2012’ survey. Further, a quarter (26%) of respondents said that they cared about responsible manufacturing but were not willing to pay more for it, while 9% said that the way in which products were produced was not a concern at all.

The survey, which involved more than 2,300 CNN consumers from 70 countries around the world, also looked at consumers’ current ownership and future purchasing plans for electronics products, showing that laptop and smartphones were the most frequently owned products (88% and 67% respectively), and were also the most likely to be purchased or replaced (72% and 73% respectively). While 66% of respondents currently own a compact digital camera, a smaller percentage (46%) planned to purchase or replace this product. On the other hand, 42% of respondents currently own a tablet computer and 54% plan to purchase or replace the product. In addition, the survey found that smart TVs / connected TV sets are out-pacing streaming media boxes as a means of viewing internet content on TV, with both higher ownership (16% versus 12%) and purchase intent (38% versus 27%).

“Not surprisingly, there is still very strong demand from consumers for new electronics products,” said William Hsu, Vice President, CNN Advertising Sales Asia Pacific. “This survey demonstrates that there is a clear opportunity for brands to connect with consumers and convert these purchasing plans into sales.”

“Interestingly, we found only minor differences between Asia, EMEA and the U.S., demonstrating the globalized nature of electronics brands,” he added.

When asked about the factors that influence their electronics purchasing decisions, durability, price and functionality were the three most important factors, with 86%, 85% and 83% of respondents respectively naming these three considerations as an important factor in the decision making process. Three quarters of the respondents surveyed said that a product’s design/appearance (77%), use of the latest technology (75%) and brand name (74%) were important factors, while 40% of respondents said they considered the product’s country of origin an important factor.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • 61% of respondents use social media to connect to their favorite consumer electronics brands.
  • Connectivity is now so commonplace that the risk of disconnection anxiety is high, with half of the respondents (49%) agreeing that they “feel uncomfortable if I am ever out of broadband/wifi/3G reach.” Meanwhile, one third (34%) are perfectly happy to be off-the-net, claiming that “I cherish the times when I’m out of broadband/wifi/3G reach and can’t be disturbed by calls or email.”
  • Consumers are divided as to the right form factor for smartphones and tablet computers. While 40% agree that “something in-between a smartphone and a tablet computer would cover all my mobile needs,” a similar proportion (44%) claim that “smartphones are big enough already” and that “having a separate smartphone and tablet makes more sense to me.”

About CNN International’s ‘Consumer Connect – Consumer Electronics 2012’

CNN Consumer Connect is a series of global surveys revealing the perception and purchase behaviour of CNN consumers towards a specific category – in this case Consumer Electronics. Survey respondents are recruited via CNN web sites (, International,, CNN Mexico) and, in return for a few minutes of their time, CNN makes a donation to their selected charity. All respondents aged 18+ are eligible to participate in the survey and this approach yields a large and truly international sample, with respondents from over 70 countries worldwide. The ‘Consumer Connect – Consumer Electronics 2012’ survey was conducted from May to June 2012.

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CNN is the world’s leading global 24-hour news network and one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information. The CNN brand is available to two billion people via 18 CNN branded TV, internet and mobile services produced by CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System Inc and a Time Warner company. CNN International is the international directorate of CNN Worldwide and distributes news via 14 services in seven different languages. CNN International can be seen in more than 280 million households and hotel rooms in over 200 countries and territories worldwide, including over 44 million across the Asia Pacific region and online at

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