September 05, 2012 at 12:42 PM EDT
Laptop Shopping: Where Do Consumers Look First?
Image from: Technology Shopper / Shutterstock College means a lot of things; it means leaving home, it means growing up, it means adjusting your body to only consuming pop-tarts and whatever is microwaveable. For many families it also means investing in a new laptop, and for vendors it means knowing when to start your back-to-school [...]

Technology Shopping

Image from: Technology Shopper / Shutterstock

College means a lot of things; it means leaving home, it means growing up, it means adjusting your body to only consuming pop-tarts and whatever is microwaveable. For many families it also means investing in a new laptop, and for vendors it means knowing when to start your back-to-school gadget campaigns. Here are a few insights to help either party make the most of this season’s ecommerce frenzy.

Below are two tables. The first shows the top players in the electronics category, ranked by volume of unique visitors, and the second shows the top gainers in traffic for the electronics category in July overall. Looking at the first we can see that Apple has seen a 43% increase in electronics category share volume. Bestbuy.com saw the second largest push, telling us that there has been an influx of ecommerce towards either site. By cross-referencing these metrics with the second table, which showcases a litany of discount electronic sites suddenly becoming very popular, we can infer that the beginning of the back-to-school gadget buzz picks up as early as July.

Electronics Category Ranked by Unique Visitors

10 Gains in Monthly Unique Visitors for ElectronicsAs a consumer who is both young and internet literate, my first step in shopping for a laptop would be online research. People close to my age–people who are heading to college after graduating high school–will commit to a similar regime of using search engines to do a bit of research online before making any purchases. So will their parents, as it’s a higher likelihood that they’ll be the ones shelling out the money. If laptop brands (and sites distributing laptops) are smart, they’ll take a look at where consumers are going in search of trustworthy laptop reviews. Below are the top ten destinations for the keyword ‘Laptop Reviews.’

Daily Keyword Destinations for 'Laptop Reviews'This is an exact match search. Several of the top ten volumes of highest traffic are third party review sites, but Microsoft makes an appearance as the sixth highest volume at 4.5%, with 61% of that volume paid for. The only other branded domains within the ranking are Toshiba and Acer, showing up in spots 7 and 9 respectively.

What does this say about how consumers research? Does it imply that consumers are less likely to seek out reviews from the laptop brands themselves? Recently Mashable reported that kids want tech, not clothing, for back to school shopping.If I were a laptop vendor hoping to make a killing on this back-to-school momentum of technology sales, I’d start by taking a look at these top trafficked sites and I would try to build a partnership into my marketing strategy.

If you’re looking into purchasing a laptop, where do you look first? Where do you trust? Let us know in the comments section!

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