Attitudes : Dealers Must Tap All Available ResourcesSeptember 2013 By Jeff O'Heir
Most CE retailers today are running much leaner operations than they did just a few years ago but have much more work to do. That’s all the more reason to take advantage of the new programs offered by vendors, buying groups, distributors and other partners that could help improve different aspects of your business.
That call to action is especially important for initiatives that require skill sets most retailers just don’t have the time or money to master. Think social media, SEO, e-commerce, omni-channel and just about anything else that has to do with the ever-changing world of online sales and marketing. Retailers, though, don’t have to carry the full weight of those challenges. A variety of business partners are offering refreshed and new programs to help make those complex tasks a bit easier to execute.
We highlight a few examples in the August and September issues of Dealerscope, as well as on Dealerscope.com. Last month, we wrote about how Friedmans Appliance in Long Beach, Calif., tapped Nationwide Marketing’s Linked Leaders group of forward-thinking retailers to develop the tablet program that required all salespeople to carry the device as a way to fight showrooming and to improve the customer experience. The initiative is helping to increase sales and improve profits.
“It happened quickly because of Nationwide. If I had to do it own my own, I’d still be developing the applications,” said Chris Ybarra, Friedmans’ general manager. “For independent dealers, being in a group like Nationwide is huge.”
Nationwide also launched its MemberNet 4.0 gateway to online services. It includes a new online chat feature designed to help retailers improve communications with customers and to close the gap between the online and in-store experiences. The buying group has also created e-commerce sites optimized for mobile devices for 20 of its members, and will soon begin delivering the platforms to its general membership.
On Dealerscope.com, we also wrote about how BrandSource rolled out its new Expert Reviews service, which is designed to bring a younger demographic into members’ stores. The program allows retailers to monitor their online ratings on 19 websites to help them identify low ratings, respond to dissatisfied customers and survey customers for reviews.
And in the Beyond White department on page 56 of this issue, we feature GE’s Reimagining Home campaign. As part of the multi-faceted initiative, GE is including dealers in its social media strategies and offering them POS materials, digital sales execution guides and apps with 3D tutorials for sales associates. Several dealers tell us that similar campaigns in the past helped them to increase sales and foot traffic.