The Spark in 12-Volt
Not even the sourest cynics can say that everything about the recession has been bad. It has, for example, prompted some healthy behavioral changes in the mobile electronics retail sector. Spotty inventory conditions and cutbacks in manufacturer support have forced independents to create their own means of survival and to mine veins in the market where there is still gold.
Part of this self-reliance means gunning for older, richer customers who are more interested in upgrading their vehicles rather than buying new ones. This demographic is ripe for the kind of “show me” presentation that is a specialist’s stock in trade. Think connectivity solutions that make moving an iPod from home to car very easy. The older set is also more aware of how good music can sound, since they didn’t grow up with earbuds stuck in their heads. That means they are more receptive, once in the store, to purchasing the highly profitable amps and speakers that can improve the sound of their MP3 source material.
Dealers are operating leaner this year, and they’re being smarter about collecting and using customer information to reconnect with former customers and sell them anew. They are also more willing to sell full solutions, which include showing products in working ensembles rather than just lining separates up in “me too” wall racks.