Accessorize: Don't Ditch the Niche
After seeing a number of unremarkable, gimmicky add-on products, it may be easy to write off some accessories as superfluous. But with economic conditions being what they are, retailers would be wise to encourage accessory sales, both standalone and as add-ons to big-ticket items, to customers who fit certain profiles.
To craft an effective accessories sales strategy, retailers must identify profitable and practical accessories that fit their business models and then pinpoint the niche customer and/or problem the product overcomes.
Power Management Accessories
Even if I weren’t CEO of a power management manufacturer, I would still say that power-related accessories provide a big growth opportunity for retailers. Whether it’s the wide range in prices, strained power grids or power-hungry electronics that demand it, power management sales have steadily increased ever since manufacturers started creating CE solutions.
Of all the accessory categories, whole-house can generate the most revenue. Our company sells a $25,000 solution that provides an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and surge protection that also conditions the power for an entire AC sub-panel. More moderately priced power-management devices are also available. Show the best first, and then decide if a lower-priced solution fits.
Power-protection accessories can help protect the customer’s investment in a flat-panel television from surges, spikes, lightning strikes and electromagnetic or radio frequency interference that come through the cable TV coax line. Those can damage a unit or negatively impact performance. Power protection accessories also can help maximize component performance. Another common issue that can be addressed by accessories is ground loops, which are low AC voltage differences between ground potentials that result in scroll bars in video and a constant hum in audio. Those problems can often be solved in minutes by a simple, inexpensive, profitable accessory.
Whether for space-saving purposes, interior design considerations or ergonomics, many consumers are mounting flat-panel displays on walls. Before you just sell mounts, consider presenting even more suitable and profitable options, such as electronics furniture or motorized mounts.
Don’t let a customer put a sleek flat-panel on a hulking, oak entertainment center built for yesterday’s CRT TV. Does the customer want the new HD display or the wood casing to be the center of attention? Introduce them to the furniture pieces designed for electronics, which are built to accentuate the visual appeal of electronics, not encase them.
Motorized mounts are ideal for large rooms with lots of seating or for smaller TVs that don’t provide wide viewing angles. Most of them offer a full range of motion, including tilt, pan and swivel capabilities. Never sell an entry-level fixed mount without letting customers know these more luxurious mounts exist.
iPods, smartphones and other handheld devices are wildly popular and are redefining how we communicate with each other and consume media. Most accessories from this category are designed to personalize, enhance and protect.
Whether it’s an iPod trying to survive the rigors of a gym or a frequently used smartphone traveling back and forth from the jobsite, handheld electronics are only meant to absorb so much wear and tear. Rugged protective casings extend the lives of our handheld devices, often with a touch of style.
Bluetooth technology has changed the way we use communication devices, making it safer to drive and easier to walk while conversing on the phone.
I’m not a gamer, but I know a growth industry when I see one. When a video game release generates five times the revenue as the No. 1 movie at any given time, there’s significant money being spent. A generation of gamers who started with the traditional Nintendo has aged into its 20s, 30s and 40s, now with careers and extra income. New consoles provide a multi-sensory HD experience that is attracting consumers who have never played video games in their lives. Game and console sales don’t provide huge margins, but pairing them with products that do can help.