Cost driving smartphone buyers to challenge purchasing cycle

smartphone - Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Teads, The Global Media Platform, today published the results of its latest consumer survey in partnership with GWI. 

The global research, the largest ever run by Teads commissioned in 17 markets, involving 7,785 people who are intending to buy a smartphone soon, revealed that smartphone manufacturers are going to need to adapt to new factors driving consumer purchase decisions. 

As the smartphone market has become less fragmented and increasingly expensive, consumers are looking for the most affordable options, both in the short and long term, to help make their decisions, rather than purely brand loyalty.

Smartphone factors

When asked what factors would make them more likely to purchase a new smartphone, 43% said ‘lower cost device/plan’ was a factor and 22% said it was the most important one.

Following this trend, Cashback deals’ was the second most important factor (13%), before ‘‘Warranty/Aftercare’ (11%) and ‘Innovative hardware’ (10%) and ‘Promotion bundles’ (8%). 

When asked about sustainability, just 3% said that recycling solutions was the most important factor. 

However, 60% said they would pay more for eco-friendly products, 64% said they wanted brands to be socially responsible / eco-friendly and 65% said that durability was an important feature as well.

All of this paints a fascinating look at the smartphone market, showing that mobile phone intenders are still swayed by key hardware features, but financial and environmental decisions are playing an increasingly large part in the buying cycle as consumers want their products to have less impact on the planet and last longer once it has been produced.

The study showed that UK consumers see their smartphone purchase as more of a long term investment than the rest of the world. 

With just 25% of mobile intenders having had their phone less than a year, this is tiny compared to the US (61%) and global average of 49%. 

This is despite the fact that just 56% are “Very satisfied” with their phones. Interestingly, consumers aren’t just looking for the latest model of their existing brand. 

Some 72% of all intenders say that features/functions are more important than the brand, and 64% would consider switching brands, with 35-44 year olds (72%) most likely to switch, followed by 45-54 year olds (66%) and 18-34 year olds at 58%. 

Men in the UK have a much higher tendency to switch brands at 73% vs women at 53%.
Ioanna Stagia, VP Global Client Partner Insights & Measurement, at Teads said: “As comparing smartphones based on performance and features has become harder over the years, it’s interesting to see consumers’ decisions being shifted to areas where brands can have a greater level of distinction. 

“As consumers become increasingly concerned about the environment, the ability for manufacturers to easily repair their devices in order to increase device life-cycle and reduce impact on the planet, is only going to become more important. 

“It is therefore up to carriers and manufacturers to decide how they’re going to approach these decisions and communicate these updates to mobile intenders.”

James Aylott, SVP Strategic Accounts added: “January 2022 was a defining moment for the smartphone market globally as sales penetration of 5G-capable smartphones reached 51%, representing the first time it exceeded that of 4G smartphones. 

“Our research demonstrates a clear appetite for audiences to upgrade their devices and the latest smartphones will certainly be part of the consideration, but perhaps most interestingly consumers may now be more willing than ever to consider switching to a new smartphone brand.

“With such a variety of factors at play in determining the next smartphone a consumer chooses, our research shows that advertising can have a substantial role to play in communicating key features and benefits to consumers.”