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Two-in-five (38%) of all British Columbians and half (52%) of parents of school-age children are likely to buy at least one technology product during this back-to-routine time of year. Laptops (46%) are the top purchase item among those who will buy, but a touchscreen monitor for their computer is the top wish-list item.

Vancouver, BC – A recent Insights West online poll of 638 adults in British Columbia found technology products are an important part of our lives at this time of year when children get back to school and adults get back to their more “usual” routines. As a result, a sizeable number (38%) either have bought or intend to buy one or more technology products for themselves or their children. This number is significantly higher (52%) among those who have children in school (kindergarten through grade 12).

Over half of British Columbians (54% total important, 21% very important) indicate that technology products are important to them as a part of getting “back to routine” at this time of year. And technology products are even more critical for those going back to school: a very large majority (78% total important, 26% very important) of parents of children in kindergarten through grade 12 believe that technology products are important to their children as part of their education. Among the 13% of BC adults who will personally be enrolled in education this fall, a resounding 95% consider technology important to them as part of their education (65% very important).

As a result, it seems that many British Columbians have shopped or will be shopping for technology products at this time of year, with 38% (52% of parents) indicating that they are likely to buy one or more products for back to routine/school for them or their children. Further, when presented with a wish list of items, 80% would buy at least one item for themselves and 78% of parents would buy at least one for their children if they could.

“These results indicate just how critical this time of year is for retailers of technology products,” comments Catherine Dawson, Senior Vice President, Insights West. “Many of us – whether we are going back to school or not – see this time of year as a time to get organized and back to routine and technology can help us do that.”

Among those on the list of possible items to buy, it seems that the functional laptop continues to be the most likely purchase overall (46% of those who have bought/plan to buy), still stronger than the tablet (36%) and far ahead of a desktop computer (26%). Smartphones are also a very common purchase this time of year (43%).

However, what British Columbians plan to buy doesn’t always match up with what they wish they could buy. The number one product on their wish list for themselves is a touchscreen flat panel monitor for their computers (35%); this is also number one among parents for their children (42%). Smartphones continue to be popular (30% for themselves, 21% for children). And tablets (27% for self, 26% for children) and mini-tablets (10% for self, 25% for children) become far more popular than a laptop (9% for self, 13% for children).

“Wish-list items show where British Columbians would rather spend their technology budget if they could – more for fun than function,” Dawson comments.


About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has ten full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 22 – 25, 2013, among 638 British Columbians who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Catherine Dawson
Senior Vice President, Insights West

Photograph: Carlos Varela