Providing market intelligence for more than 35 years

Support Services

Q2 2010

Industry Report

Retailers and Support Services: Analysis and Forecasts

This report analyzes how consumer electronics retailers and PC OEMs are building support capabilities. It provides an overview of the key services being offered and discusses the role of support businesses in the context of revenue and new service category creation. It also provides primary consumer data and includes forecasts for different categories of premium technical support services through 2014.


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1.0 Report Summary

1.1 Purpose and Scope of Report

1.2 Data Sources

1.3 Companies Briefed

2.0 CE Purchases and Support

2.1 Consumer Electronics Buying Trends

2.1.1 Purchase Location

2.1.2 Support Features Purchased with Consumer Electronics

2.2 Specific Consumer Electronics Purchases

2.2.1 Home Computers

2.2.2 Home Networks

2.2.3 Televisions and Home Theater Systems

3.0 Retailers and Technical Support Services

3.1 Tech Support - Moving Beyond “DIY”

3.2 Tech Support Services: Consumer Demand and Overview

3.2.1 Computer Troubleshooting Services

3.2.2 Computer Tune-up

3.2.3 Home Network Set-up and Troubleshooting

3.2.4 Remote Tech Support Services

4.0 Forecasts

4.1 New Computer Set-up

4.2 In-store and On-site Home Computer Troubleshooting

4.3 Remote Home Computer and Home Network Troubleshooting

4.4 Home Computer Tune-up Services

4.5 Home Network Set-up and Configuration

4.6 Total Revenues

5.0 Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Extending the Customer Lifecycle

5.2 Retailers Take a More Proactive Role in Pre-purchase Advice

5.3 Selling Support Services via Online Channels

5.4 Using Video for New Product Training

5.5 Scaling Support Services

5.6 Online Marketplaces for IT Professionals

5.7 Recycling Offerings

Consumers Needing Help with Setting up CE Products
Attitudes about Consumer Electronics
Likelihood of Buying a PC in the Next Six Months
New CE Product Purchase Source
Support Features that Would Distinguish Retailers
Percentage of Broadband Households Buying Consumer Electronics
Consumer Electronics Purchases vs. Purchase Intentions: 2H of 2009
Broadband Households Buying Specific Consumer Electronics: 2007-2009
Consumer Electronics Spending Plans
Retail Purchases of Consumer Electronics
Importance of Warranty at the Time of New CE Purchase
Roles of the Sales Staff in Selling Warranties
CE Support Feature Purchases
Computer Support Features: Offered and Selected
PC Purchases/Intended Purchases: Support Features Included/Desired
Influencing Factors in Purchasing Additional Computer Support
Interest in PC Support Features
Support Features that Would Distinguish a PC Brand
Home Computer Set-up Services: Major Retailers and OEMs
Who Installed Home Networking Equipment?
Likelihood of Using Professional Home Networking Installation Service
Home Network Set-up Services: Major Retailers and OEMs
HDTV Buyers and Likely Buyers: Support Features
HDTV Installation Services: Major Retailers
Home Theater Buyers and Likely Buyers: Support Features
Home Theater Installation Services: Major Retailers
Percentage of Consumers Solving Tech Problems with DIY
Resources Used to Help Solve Home IT Problems
When will Consumers Seek Professional Tech Support?
Interest in Professional Support for Home Networking Issues
Use of In-home or In-store Tech Support Services
Sizing the Potential for Tech Support Services
Computer Troubleshooting Services: Major Retailers and OEMs
Preferences for Tech Support Service Models
Computer Tune-up Services: Major Retailers and OEMs
How Easy Were Home Network Installations?
Use of and Interest in Professional Home Network Installation
Interest in Using Professional Home Network Support Service
Value of Support for Network Applications
Home Networking Troubleshooting Services from Major Retailers and OEMs
Preferred Channels for the Delivery of Tech Support
Daily Call Volume Breakout: Remote Support Vendors
Remote Support Resolution Success Rate
Remote Tech Support Services from Major Retailers
Remote Tech Support Vendors Working with Retailers
Key Assumptions: New Home Computer Set-up
Key Assumptions: In-store and On-site Home Computer Support
Key Assumptions: Remote Home Computer/Home Network Troubleshooting
Key Assumptions: Remote Home Computer Tune-up
Key Assumptions: Home Network Set-up and Configuration
Retailer/OEM Support Services Revenues
Most-important Information Sources for CE Buyers
Vendors Providing Smartphone-based Retail Information and Promotions
Recycling Programs from Major CE Retailers

© April 2010 Parks Associates

All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Printed in the United States of America. 

Parks Associates has made every reasonable effort to ensure that all information in this report is correct.  We assume no responsibility for any inadvertent errors.


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