Computers have grown to be a mainstay in the American home. And after the pandemic and lockdowns of 2020, computing devices practically became a necessity. Research shows that the average American household owns at least two computers. However, the computing market is ever-changing when it comes to where and what people prefer when shopping for new devices. Between the big brands and the big computer retailers, who took the lead of the total computing market as of the 4Q end at Q2 2021? Let’s take a closer look.
Top Retailers in the Total Computing Market
Best Buy has held its top spot in both dollar and unit shares since 2014, with no other major computer retailer posing much of a threat. By the last 4Q end, Best Buy was at 27 percent in dollar shares and 24 percent unit shares. However, the well-known electronics retailer has actually had decreases in both dollar and unit shares since they peaked at 30 and 27 percent in June 2019. Apple held a slim margin over Amazon in dollar share, but Amazon has experienced YoY increases and could potentially overtake Apple by the next quarter.
How many retailers did consumers consider before purchase?
The bulk of shoppers (60%) checked inventory at just one outlet before closing the sale of a new computer. With Apple, as many as 73 percent of shoppers shopped only at Apple, possibly pointing toward brand loyalty among long-term customers. Customers who had shopped at four stores or more were most likely to end up at Costco.
What are the biggest purchase drivers?
The biggest purchase driver, no matter the retailer, was getting a replacement for a computer that needed service (49.5%). For customers who just wanted a new computer, they were most likely to shop with Amazon or Dell.
A Look at the Top Retailers by Region
Nationwide, Best Buy held the top spot in the computing market with 24 percent of the market. Best Buy does have a relatively large presence in most parts of the country, which may explain its dominance. Runners up nationally were Amazon and Walmart. Surprisingly, however, Best Buy also took the lead in market shares in every census region: the West, Midwest, South, and Northeast. Well-known branded technology retailers like Apple and Dell held between 5 and 10 percent of the market share across the four regions.
Look Who’s Dominating Online Computer Sales
You may have guessed, but Amazon took the lead in online sales. However, Dell ran a relatively close second to the giant online retailer with 88 percent of sales being online. Walmart actually had the fewest online sales in the total computing market (32%).
What About Brands in the Computing Market?
Lenovo, ASUS, HP, Dell, Acer, Apple—most consumers know the top six computer manufacturers well. After all, these brands have fought for top vendor market shares for about a decade. In 2020, the six brands actually accounted for over 80 percent of all units sold worldwide.
As usual, the 4Q ending in Q2 2021 found these six brands holding the top ranks in dollar and unit shares. While Apple held the top dollar brand share at 27 percent, HP held steady at 22.8 percent. With unit sales, Dell has had the most significant decrease YoY, dropping 1.7 percent from 2020. Apple managed the biggest gains in unit sales YoY.
A few other interesting notes:
- Why people chose a certain brand – Competitive price, especially when buying Acer (61%)
- Number of brands considered – 59% shopped one brand before purchase, 27% considered two
- Why buy a computer to start with – Most people were buying a replacement, especially if they purchased HP
HP actually held the biggest numbers in national shares by brand at 29 percent. And, consumers in all four regions picked HP over all five of the Big 6.
Get a Closer Look at the Total Computing Market
So, who is the primary household computer shopper? What retailers offer the best price mix? Which brands are actually purchased according to features over price? For a more in-depth look at the total computing market, be sure to get your TraQline full market report for a more telling look.