Taking a Stab at Home Networking
These figures seem to point back to a lack of knowledge or expertise on the part of the purchaser. However, the study reveals that 93 percent of consumers researched home networking products before making a purchase. And they employed a variety of resources to investigate and evaluate these devices. Twenty-one percent of the respondents consulted product reviews or Internet news sites, while 14 percent conferred with family, friends or co-workers.
With consumers doing their research, the next step is to look at the point-of-purchase and post-purchase experience. The data certainly shows the importance of big retailers in the equation. When consumers decide to shop for home networking devices, 68 percent purchase through retail—with 34 percent buying from a consumer electronics superstore.
Post-purchase is where the challenges start. The study shows 65 percent of respondents sought assistance setting up their new equipment and 33 percent experienced a problem during the installation process. An equal percentage then picked up the phone to get some help. That failing, many customers took the product back to the store. In fact, almost two-thirds (65 percent) of the respondents who ultimately returned their home networking product reported first contacting customer service or visiting a store to get help. This strongly suggests the importance of a helpful or knowledgeable salesperson at the point of return to convert the return into an exchange.