This was an interesting point to me, as the topic had arisen while I was discussing Best Buy’s buying strategy for this year with the retailer’s head of computing, Renee Wright.
“A lot of it’s because the market’s become more lifestyle led,” she told me. “Colour features highly, as well as screen quality and ease of use. Those are the things that make a difference to customers, and I think that market in itself – certainly for us – every week we look at the figures there and they to grow.”
My first thought – and please forgive my sexism – was that this was an indicator of more women using IT out of necessity. However Wright felt that it was more to do with mobility and lifestyle than gender differences.
“It’s a lot to do with design as opposed to specification,” she continued. “A lot of people are saying ‘well, if I’m going to have this laptop out of my home more frequently then I want it to look nice’, so there’s definately a big opportunity there and we’ve tried to bring that to our laptops and accessories. It’s not just about men that buy laptops for work, it’s about people that want to accesssorise the device they’ve got.”
This did leave me considering the popularity of the Dell Inspiron range which – despite currently in one of its rare absences from our top sellers chart – has been a consistently popular device, especially since the vendor started offering it with a choice of colours and designs on its casing.