Retail Roundtable: Regionals Have Their Say
Cole: I see HDCP2.2 being a huge pain, so that’s a challenge. E-commerce and how manufacturers deal with e-commerce and whether they are going to try to go direct to consumers via third-party marketplaces like Amazon. E-commerce is a real entity. We play in that world. We have to be cognizant of matching online pricing that is legitimate. But when people are selling products sideways and key people are looking the other way, it’s hard to beat. Everybody’s got to have the best price, so the real challenge is to step above commodity selling online and to offer up a unique proposition.
Things are what they are, and what we sell and what we do is important. We have to communicate that value to our customers more effectively. As an example, when doing custom integration, we no longer participate in the bidding process.
We tell people how much it’s going to cost, and that’s it. We’ll match price on individual items as a standard retail/e-tail event but for these jobs, there’s the price of the projects, and that’s all there is. Probably 36 percent of World Wide’s business is now custom.
Perlman: I think that there’s a huge battle for discretionary dollars and I think the electronics industry has got some challenges. We compete for discretionary dollars on really every level. When you see food costs go up dramatically … I think people conceivably would like to buy a television. But as the cost of food increases at its current rate, it takes away discretionary dollars. People love their entertainment, but the customers HAVE to eat. One of our other challenges to our industry is our inability to use consistent terminology or basic universal solutions. We really confuse the average customer. You have UHD or 4K. Well, the customers say, “Which one do I want?” That’s just our industry not getting together on the same page. You don’t see five different manufacturers in the automobile industry calling a steering wheel something different, or referring to miles per gallon by four different anagrams. They use the same terminology across their industry. We tend not to do that. That’s always been a problem in our industry.