Two in every three Asia-Pacific shoppers have already done extensive research and decided which brand of consumer electronics product they will buy before they approach a point-of-sale, regardless of whether it’s online or offline, according to Text100’s Digital Index: APAC Consumer Electronics Study.

Based on more than 2,000 respondents in seven countries, the study looked at three subsectors in the consumer electronics segment: smart devices and new technology; games, software and apps; and traditional electronics and home appliances. The study found that 68 percent of Asia-Pacific consumers are likely to do all of their research on which product they want to purchase before heading to buy it.

Word-of-mouth remains the most influential source of information for consumers in the region, referenced by one in two potential buyers of smart devices and wearable technologies, along with digital “equivalents” like online reviews and forums. However, retail outlets and the media retain significant sway over decisions at all stages of the buying process: both visits to bricks-and-mortar stores and traditional media sources were cited by more than 40 percent of shoppers as they set out to buy traditional electronics and home appliances.

Purchase price, product specifications, and peer reviews ranked as the most sought-after information types across all product subsectors and stages of the buying journey, with almost three in every four consumers seeking out pricing information when they were intending to buy.

“Asia-Pacific consumers have now truly taken control over the decision-making process, dictating what information they expect from brands as well as where, and when they want it,” says Anne Costello, Text100’s regional director, Asia-Pacific. “At the core, we’re still after the same things: price, facts, and validation from our peers that we’re making the right decision.

“But the age-old ways of getting this information, like word-of-mouth, have been dramatically remediated into a whole range of new channels, from social media sharing to blogs and self-declared experts both online and on the retail High Street. Building awareness of product is critical for today’s brands and they can only do so by mapping out an integrated, omni-channel communications strategy that’s consistent, credible, and relevant in the content that it offers.”

The study also showed that while people are more likely to give positive rather than negative comments or reviews, they are also much more likely to tell their friends and family about a positive or negative experience than post a link or write a review.

“If you deliver an experience that really recognises the customer for the individual they are, you’re much more likely to inspire positive recognition and advocacy in those all-important word-of-mouth circles,” says Costello. “Consumers want to share good experiences, and brands can provide them more often by taking the effort to talk to their customers, chart different buying personas, and investing in training staff to identify and deliver the most relevant advice for each one’s needs.”