The buzz around consumer electronics

Consumer electronics have traditionally been one of the most popular holiday gift categories, but the economy has resulted in a grim outlook for sales in the retail sector this holiday season.

Consumer electronics have traditionally been one of the most popular holiday gift categories, but the economy has resulted in a grim outlook for sales in the retail sector this holiday season. BuzzLogic looked to influential conversations in the blogosphere to gauge how consumer electronics will fare this year. (Influence is determined by factoring over a dozen criteria, including posting habits and linking activity.)

•    On the topics of “spending” and “holiday,” conversations span across popular gadget sites like Gizmodo and Lifehacker to shopping sites like The Consumerist and StyleitLess to more niche sites like Melody's Sofa and YarnIt. The ninth most influential post (from Gizmodo) post cites a Consumer Reports survey that found 85% of the shoppers on Black Friday will buy some kind of electronics product. However, consumer electronic gifts are only mentioned in three of the top 50 influential posts on the topic of holiday spending.

•    Influencer RetailDesignDiva cited a NRF study that predicts video games, CDs, and DVDs will be purchased by 55.6% of shoppers this year, with 30% on consumer electronics. The Xbox360Fanboy blog posted a handy chart that compares consoles by SKU for easy comparison shopping and ordering this year.

•    In blu-ray DVDs and high definition televisions, Samsung is the clear brand winner among influential bloggers this season, with 40% of the conversations related to blu-ray DVDs and 13% of the HDTV conversations discussing the manufacturer. Sony, the blu-ray technology creator, was mentioned in 2% of all blog conversations related to the DVD technology, while in HDTV conversations, influencers discussed LCDs within 15 of the conversations, and plasmas within 9%.  Deals on HDTVs were also widely discussed, with 4%of the influencer conversations talking about Dealzmodo, a popular feature of the tech gadget blog Gizmodo.  

•    The economy is making an impact on consumer electronics purchases this year. Retail giant Circuit City's bankruptcy filing has put a dent in consumers' retail options and, according to The Consumerist blog, even with liquidation plans, deals will be hard to come by. But, hope is not lost with all retailers, as Gizmodo reports that Wal-Mart's Black Friday deals are some of the best they've seen so far. There's 10% influencer buzz around Best Buy, also discussing Black Friday. Influential blogger Juicy Dreaming Diva wrote about her excitement in finding EBates, a company offering rebates on purchases from retailers like Best Buy.

While consumers are being careful with their holiday budgets, consumer electronics will still be under the tree this year. Even in a recession, specific brands can shine this holiday season if they are hitting the right chord with influencers and consumers.  

Evaluation and analysis by BuzzLogic's Insights. Insights determines blog influence by factoring over a dozen criteria, including posting habits and linking activity. Based on the analysis of 48,614 blog postings from November 3-22, 2008. 

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