Among major electronics retailers, demonstration rates for new TV technologies are particularly low

Date: Mon, 09/05/2011 - 18:47 Source: J.D. Power and Associates press department

While salespeople at major electronics retail chains tend to demonstrate familiar TV technology fairly frequently, they are less inclined to demonstrate newer technologies, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Television Mystery Shopping Report(SM)

Among major electronics retailers, demonstration rates for new TV technologies are particularly low Image credited to Panasonic

When it comes to explaining overall differences and features between various TV models, brands and technologies, more than one-half of salespersons (56%) provided a product demonstration, while 44 percent of salespeople only provided a verbal description.
However, for newer technologies, demonstration rates are notably lower than overall product demonstration across all features and technologies. For 3D TV technology, 44 percent of salespeople provided a product demonstration, while the majority of salespeople—56 percent—only discussed these features verbally(1).
The demonstration rates are even lower for Internet protocol television (IPTV). Overall, 34 percent of salespersons demonstrate or discuss IPTV. However, actual offers to demonstrate IPTV are low, averaging just 7 percent.
"Among retailers included in the report in both 2011 and 2010(2), IPTV demonstration rates have tripled from 4 percent in Q4 2010 to 12 percent in Q2 2011, but this is far from what we'd expect to see for a newer TV feature and leaves significant room for improvement," said Tim Fox, account manager at J.D. Power and Associates.
The report finds that salespersons who are more aggressive about asking to close the sale are also more likely to provide product demonstrations. For example, among salespeople who asked to close the sale of a TV at least once, 11 percent offered to demonstrate IPTV technology. In contrast, among salespeople who did not try to close the sale, only 2 percent offered a demonstration.
Major electronics retailers that have particularly high demonstration rates for IPTVs include ABC Warehouse, Best Buy and PRO Group.
"The more often a salesperson demonstrates a feature or technology, the more opportunities they have to up-sell it," said Fox. "Retailers can boost both demonstrations and sales rates by providing sales staff with the training and information they need to be comfortable showing features and technologies to customers."
The report also finds that among HDTV technologies, LED technology is recommended much more frequently by salespersons than are LCD and plasma technology. More than one-half of mystery shoppers (55%) indicate that a salesperson recommended LED technology, while 25 percent and 16 percent of mystery shoppers received recommendations for LCD and plasma technology, respectively.
The 2011 Television Mystery Shopping Report compiles the findings of more than 600 trained mystery shoppers who performed on-site evaluations of a major electronics retail location. The report is released quarterly; Q2 results are based on evaluations collected between April and June 2011. Major appliance retailers included in the report are ABC Warehouse, Best Buy, BrandsMart, Conn's, Costco, Frys, hhgregg, PC Richard & Son, PRO Group retailers, Sears and Walmart.

(1) Among those salespeople who discussed 3D TV at all.
(2) Costco and Walmart are included in the report for the first time in 2011. Ultimate Electronics was included in the report in Q4 2010, but is not represented in Q2 2011.

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