Bob Ankosko

Bob Ankosko
Why Bluetooth is Winning in Wireless

You don’t have to too walk very far through a CE retailer’s aisles before bumping into yet another Bluetooth-enabled wireless speaker. And it’s no wonder: The category exploded last year with sales hitting $785 million, up a whopping 175 percent over 2012, according to The NPD Group.

In a world increasingly defined by smartphone users who routinely share photos, videos and music on the fly, consumers are drawn to portable wireless speakers that make it possible to bypass tinny phone and tablet sound at prices that are easy on the wallet.

Joining the Digital Health Revolution

A revolution in digital health and wellness products is emerging as Americans debate the escalating cost of health insurance, and as healthcare providers seek ways to encourage people to take a more active role in their health.

The Digital Health Revolution

A revolution in digital health and wellness products is emerging as Americans debate the escalating cost of health insurance, and as healthcare providers seek ways to encourage people to take a more active role in their health.

Retailers Embrace Showrooming

The tide is changing on the once-fearedpractice of showrooming, where customers check out products in the store and whip out their smartphones to search for a better deal. A growing number of retailers are adopting the philosophy of engaging smartphone-wielding mobile shoppers in an effort to win them over and, ultimately, boost sales.

Hubert Joly, CEO of Best Buy, which has lost more sales to Amazon than any other electronics retailer, even went so far as to proclaim in a recent Wall Street Journal article: “We love showrooming.”
 
What gives?

Hitting the CE Spot

Memo to specialty CE retailers: Think green, not pink, when a female customer walks through your doors. Women are embracing consumer electronics more than ever, buying e-readers, tablets, smartphones, digital cameras, notebooks and other CE devices for themselves and their families.

Reaping ROI from Social Strategies

Facebook and other social media platforms have emerged as an important consumer shopping resource that CE retailers can’t ignore. A recent CEA survey found that eight out of 10 social media users who researched electronics prior to purchase found Facebook and other social sites useful in helping them make buying decisions. A quarter of all social media users, and two-thirds of users who spend more than 13.5 hours a week on social sites, said they always or almost always refer to the sites before buying CE products.

CE Retailers See Benefits
While not everyone has figured out the perfect strategy for their business, successful retailers understand the value of social media and the important role it plays in engaging customers and building relationships with them. But there is no magic bullet. Retailers and retail experts say a viable social media strategy is about knowing your customers and finding the right message and medium to engage them. It’s also about gaining insights into consumer interests, intentions, motivations and perceptions by looking at what they say and do on Facebook and other social platforms.

 “The importance of social media is that consumers can access it when they want,” said Jeff Pearson, senior vice president of marketing for hhgregg, the Indianapolis-based chain with more than 200 stores in 17 states. “When you come to our website and our stores, we show you all the different ways you can stay connected with hhgregg, whether that means signing up for a rewards account, getting on our email list, liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter or joining our Pinterest section. We want to engage with consumers however they want to engage with us and we want to be important in all those channels.”

Retailers Fight Showrooming

Price shopping has been around as long as retailing but the practice of “showrooming”—a customer checking out products in the store and using his smartphone to search for a better deal, in some cases scanning barcodes—is a relatively new and growing trend that’s making brick-and-mortar retailers nervous.