US online consumer electronics retailers outperformed physical stores in quality, selection, price in Consumer Reports' latest ratings, based on shopping experiences of more than 21,000 CR readers
YONKERS, New York
October 31, 2013
– Americans who plan to shop for electronics this holiday shopping season might best be served by shopping online. In Consumer Reports’ latest ratings of electronics stores, websites as a whole outdid walk-in stores for quality, selection, and price.
Crutchfield.com and BHPhotoVideo.com were among the top-scoring online retailers for overall customer satisfaction in Consumer Reports’ electronics store ratings. Crutchfield.com was the only website to receive a top mark for customer service. BHPhotoVideo.com and Amazon.com were the only retailers that got top marks for both selection and ease of use.
“Shopping online for electronics has many benefits. Most online retailers have a wide selection of products and attractive prices, and obviously you don’t have to put up with crowded aisles and long checkout lines,” said Glenn Derene, Electronics Content Development Team Leader for Consumer Reports.
The full Consumer Reports electronics stores ratings, which are based on the shopping experiences of the over 21,000 CR readers surveyed, can be found online at ConsumerReports.org and in the December 2013 Consumer Reports Annual Electronics Issue, which is on newsstands now.
For top-notch customer service, it’s hard to beat independent walk-in stores, which were above par in every respect except for price. They received a top rating not only for customer service, but for product quality as well. Apple Store was the only walk-in chain to receive a top mark on those same attributes. Costco was the lone walk-in retailer to earn a top rating for prices, though it suffers from sub-par selection and is only average for buying ease.
Shoppers also revealed to Consumer Reports that it pays to haggle. Those who bargained with retailers, in-store or online, succeeded roughly three times out of five, saving a median of about $80, according to the survey. The median savings jumped to $99 for those who bought a TV at a walk-in store, while the median saved on cameras and tablets was $62.
The Annual Consumer Reports Electronics Issue is available on newsstands now and online at ConsumerReports.org. The issue features 30 pages of holiday gift buying advice and Ratings and reviews of more than 600 of the hottest electronics products including tablets, laptops, smart phones, e-book readers, digital cameras and camcorders, headphones, streaming media players, and home-theater systems.
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
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