The Internet is the first choice for purchasing decisions

Last week, Vertis Communications released their Consumer Focus® Tech Savvy study. The headline they ran with was “Future Plans Reveal Women to be More Tech Savvy.” That conclusion was based on their finding that 74% of Generation Y women (born 1977-1994) are planning on buying at least one electronic device in the next year, versus 58% of all 3000 adults surveyed. (Electronic devices included televisions, cell phones, digital cameras, satellite dishes and more.)

The study’s most interesting stat for an Internet marketer? Gen Y men’s answer to the question “When you are ready to make a purchase, which media do you turn to first to help you with your decision?” 38% said the Internet was their first choice to help them make a purchasing decision. That was up from 21% in 2004. In fact, the Internet was the only medium to see an increase in that time period (unless you count “None”).

However, it’s not all good news. Only 5% of Generation X women (born 1965-1976) claim the Internet as the medium most influential to their buying decisions, with most citing advertising circulars/insets (38%) or television (21%).

I’m not sure the data support the study’s headline. Isn’t it possible that “planning to buy” something doesn’t indicate ‘savvy’? Couldn’t another way to interpret the same headlining statistic possibly be “Men of all ages and Gen X women already own electronic devices”? For all we know, they do.

The report is available as a PDF including all these stats and more.