Smartphone Purchases Generally Triggered by Upgrades

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Cell phones are officially more accessible than safe drinking water and electricity. Since having a cell phone is more likely than getting cholera from your drinking water or actually having a light bulb lit above your head (literally, not figuratively), Google commissioned a study to what see factors exactly drive consumers' decisions into selecting the must-have item of 2012.

Google devised the study to fit the itinerary of McKinsey's Consumer Decision Journey. When it comes to triggers that are most likely to cause a person to go shopping for a new phone, nearly half (48%) said it was because they were eligible for an upgrade. Given that most people have to wait through a two-year contract before they are eligible for an upgrade, I imagine their very lived-in phones feel embarrassingly antiquated by the time that eligibility light starts flashing for them. Still, many people aren't all that patient as 31% purchase new phones because they can't sleep at night if they don't have the latest, bestest device to plop off the conveyor belt.

While new, shiny objects generally prompt people to start phone shopping, consumers said that when planning for a new phone, they actually care the most about network reliability, usage cost, and data plan structure.

Although consumers have bad case of phone-envy, they do at least extensively research products before opening up their pocketbooks. 72% of shoppers weighed two or more cell phone models when contemplating a purchase and 57% considered five or more different brand sites.

Over two-thirds of cell phone purchases happened in-store in 2011, meaning most people want to get that little device in their eager paws before they commit to a purchase (good on you, too!). Apparently video promotions are effective because 69% of smartphone buyers who watched a video trekked to a store that sells smartphones. More, 72% of people who conducted a little bit of mobile research purchased a phone in-store.

In general, digital research was absolutely vital to the purchase process. People could probably not research their way out of a paper bag without some sort of digital access (that's actually the clinical nomenclature, too).

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