Thursday, May 6, 2010

Interesting consumer studies from Retrevo (1)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 03:16 — Wendy
Is There Any Hope For Green Gadgets?
There’s a story about a teacher who asks a class this question; “which is worse, ignorance or apathy?” When called on by the teacher, one student responded, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Would you think this a common attitude about the environment and gadgets? Although this latest Retrevo Pulse study on green gadgets revealed a large group of "not so green" gadget buyers, on the positive side, a significant number of environmentally friendly gadget enthusiasts also stepped forward.

Greenies vs. Meanies
When Retrevo asked consumers if they feel guilty when they don’t buy a green gadget, we were disappointed to learn that nearly 60% of respondents felt no guilt for not buying green gadgets. Among that group 42% indicated they didn’t care if the gadget they bought was green or not while another 16% said price trumped green. On the bright side, nearly 40% said they do consider green when shopping for gadgets, even if they don’t end up buying green.

Do You Trust the TV That Wears the Star?
Do you know what Energy Star ratings mean? Do you trust them? The respondents to this study apparently do, with 80% indicating they trust the ratings. The bad news is we found that only 36% of the next generation of consumers (under 25) use energy ratings to help decide what to buy compared to 55% of those over 25.

Does Anyone Even Know How to Be Green With Gadgets?
Retrevo offered several answers to the question about knowing how to be green with gadgets. More than 60% claimed they knew how to be green however, more than half of those saying they knew, said they didn’t always put that knowledge into practice. The good news is that apathy and ignorance over green gadgets prevailed in only 18% of the respondents while over 20% said they were interested in learning how to be green.

What Would it Take to Make Consumers Turn Green?
The most popular responses to the question, “what would make you be more ‘green’ with gadgets?” involved tax or cash incentives (50%) along with making it easier to recycle gadgets (50%). Cash for clunker gadgets like old CRT TVs or rebates on new energy efficient LCD TVs could help save consumers money and would save energy too.

Different Shades of Green
The results of this study offer a mixture of good and bad news for gadgets and the environment. We were encouraged by the number of consumers who feel they know how to be green with gadgets, know what the energy ratings mean and apply this knowledge when shopping for gadgets. We were also glad to see a large group of consumers eager to learn more about how to be green with gadgets. Unfortunately, from the glass half empty side of the study we see lots of apathy and ignorance when it comes to being green with gadgets but lots of opportunity to educate and motivate consumers.

Bottom Line
It's clear that many consumers get the message about being green with gadgets however in order to get them to put their "green" into action the industry and the government needs to step up and make it easier and worth the effort.

About the Report
The Retrevo Gadgetology Report is an ongoing study of people and electronics from the consumer electronics shopping and review site

The data for this report came from a study of online individuals conducted in February 2010 by an independent panel. The sample size was just over 1,000 distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States. Most responses have a confidence interval of 4% at a 95% confidence level.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Jacobson
Director of Public Relations
press "at"

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