New Acosta Study Reflects Omnichannel Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases Amidst Inflation Concerns


Jacksonville, Fla. (Nov. 21, 2022) – As retailers approach the busiest days of the holiday shopping season, Acosta shared the results of its recent Shopper Insights Consumer Electronics Survey. While 74% of shoppers reflected a high level of concern about inflation, with more than half noting higher prices on nine of the top 10 most purchased items over the past year, 75% of shoppers claim that price had only somewhat to no impact on their decisions to buy the most-purchased consumer electronic items. 

In the past year, half of consumer electronics shoppers surveyed had purchased smartphones and over 33% had purchased televisions, personal computers, earbuds and headphones, despite rising prices. Tablets, gaming systems, computer accessories, speakers and printers round out the top 10 most purchased items. When available, “smart device” options were chosen by most. 


“The primary purchasing driver for all of these items was a perceived need to upgrade or replace, with a secondary driver being either a career need or a promotional opportunity,” said Kathy Risch, SVP, Consumer Insights and Trends at Acosta.  

“We also discovered in our research that the path to purchase was omnichannel for shoppers across all demographics,” she said. Both online and in-store shopping play critical roles for shoppers, with price, brand and sales named as top considerations in the purchasing process. Only in the case of smartphones and gaming systems was brand the number one consideration. “Because of inflation, consumers are changing their shopping patterns,” said Risch. “They’re shopping around more than pre-inflation and paying more attention to the best value.” 

This shopping pattern was further confirmed with 80-90% of shoppers surveyed stating that they had not purchased some items across categories due to price, with the greatest impact seen in camera/security systems, stereo/surround sound systems, virtual assistant devices, computer accessories and headphones.

For retailers and brands, this data means value and brand messages must take center stage for digital content as well as in-store experiences. Comparative product research is done online before or during visits to brick-and-mortar stores to seek reviews and best prices. The leading resources for online research are retailer websites, with Amazon moving into position as a frequent product research solution. Shoppers are typically visit up to two stores or websites before making their purchases. 

Where Consumers are Purchasing 

Consumers are purchasing consumer electronics from both brick-and-mortar and online retailers, led by mass merchandise, electronics specialty and online exclusive retailers. 

  • Topping the list:

            - 88%

            - Walmart 68%

            - Best Buy 61%

            - Costco Wholesale 57%

            - Apple Store* 48%

            - Office Depot 39%

            -* 37%

            - Target 35%

            - Sam’s Warehouse Club* 30%

            *Gen Z more likely to shop  

  • Large or expensive items like televisions, personal computers and gaming systems tended to be purchased at brick-and-mortar.
  • In-store demos were noted as extremely or somewhat important for all demographics for televisions, personal computers and smartphones, reflecting the importance of in-stock positions and customer experience. 
  • For online purchases, consumers continue to want more access to product manuals, service reps and tutorials.  

“In conclusion,” said Risch, “shoppers are buying consumer electronics despite increased prices and inflation, but they are following a new, multi-step path to purchase that requires brands to tell their value and brand story consistently across all platforms.”

Acosta’s Shopper Insights study was conducted in August 2022 with a U.S. audience of 570, ages 18 and above. For more information on this survey, please visit us here, or email us at

About Acosta

Acosta’s suite of progressive, commerce-centric solutions enables today’s biggest brands, retailers and foodservice providers to win in the modern marketplace. Since 1927, Acosta has developed trusted relationships and unmatched scale. In a complex and fast-evolving omnichannel world, Acosta’s network of companies allows us to connect with shoppers wherever they are. Through data-backed growth strategies and exceptional customer experiences, we are connecting tomorrow’s commerce today.