How Dealers Handle Shift Away From Hardware Sales
Buying groups preparing retailers to sell full streaming solutionsMarch 12, 2013
As part of Dealerscope’s annual buying group roundtable, we’ve asked buying group directors for their insights on some of the most pressing issues faced by today’s independent CE retailers. For the full buying group roundtable, please see the March issue of Dealerscope.
DEALERSCOPE: U.S. sales of all CE categories are expected to drop this year. One of the main reasons is that consumer interest is shifting from hardware to apps and streaming. How are you helping your members handle that shift?
But it’s bigger than any one thing. You hear the term “multi-channel.” It’s certainly my belief that members have got to move to harness this whole multi-channel trend. Brick and mortar’s not going away; 90 percent of sales in our dealer category are still made in stores. However, with the way customers are shopping today, and with the whole mobile app trend, dealers need to look at a fully integrated IT solution, which means from mobile, to mobile app, to web site, to POS.
That’s one of the big differentiators between the independent channel and the box stores. They do all that stuff, and that helps for the whole customer experience. There are very few independents that have the ability – not just the resources people-wise, but also the dollars – to invest in a fully integrated IT solution. That’s one of the things we’re pushing hard today; we can do all that for the members. It’s the group mentality at its finest; together, we can do it. Individually, the independent channel can’t afford it.
Video is a critical part of it. The U.S. is very attuned to video. So you have to be able to stream video – whether it be a little commercial on the product, or a ‘know how to use it’ video, or full-blown TV shows or movies. First things first with the independent channel; we have to get the dealers to adapt to it.