Many U.S. consumers are intimidated by jargon and technical data. Retail associates must translate the latest features into real-world benefits.

By Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of marketing at WDS, A Xerox Company.

Black Friday has kicked smartphone shopping into high gear, and U.S. consumers are heading to brick-and-mortar outlets and websites in droves. Which brands will they favor? Which features are most attractive?

We know one thing: Consumers favor ease-of-use over the latest device specifications. Here’s a look at the key findings from Selling Smartphones, a white paper that reports on consumer research conducted by WDS, A Xerox Company.

SmartphoneWhere do they shop?

  • A physical retail store remains the most popular destination for purchasing a new smartphone. Sixty-seven percent of consumers treat it as their primary destination while only 19% of buyers over 60 would buy their device online.
  • Buyers between 25-34 years, and the over-60’s, are the most likely groups to research and evaluate smartphones before visiting a store.
  • More than a third of under-24’s will walk into a store knowing the exact make and model of device they want to purchase.

What do they want from their smartphone?

  • The importance of the device’s brand declines with the consumer’s age.
  • Sixty-one percent of consumers stated that having the latest product specifications was of little importance when choosing their smartphone.

What do they want from their mobile operator?

  • Network coverage and service reliability are considered more important than network speed by all age groups.
  • Consumers over 60 are the most price sensitive when it comes to choosing a price plan. They are also the least interested in network speeds.

Confusion and apathy over the latest specifications could point to consumers being overloaded with technical data. So it’s important that retail associates are able to translate the latest features into real-world benefits.