While salespeople at major electronics retail chains in the US tend to demonstrate familiar TV technology fairly frequently, they are less inclined to demonstrate newer technologies, according to the JD Power and Associates 2011 Television Mystery Shopping Report.
When it comes to explaining overall differences and features between various TV models, brands and technologies, more than one-half of salespersons (56 per cent) provided a product demonstration, while 44 per cent 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 per cent of salespeople provided a product demonstration, while the majority of salespeople – 56 per cent – only discussed these features verbally.
The demonstration rates are even lower for Internet protocol television (IPTV). Overall, 34 per cent of salespersons demonstrate or discuss IPTV. However, actual offers to demonstrate IPTV are low, averaging just 7 per cent.
“Among retailers included in the report in both 2011 and 2010, IPTV demonstration rates have tripled from four per cent in Q4 2010 to 12 per cent 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 per cent offered to demonstrate IPTV technology. In contrast, among salespeople who did not try to close the sale, only two per cent 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 per cent) indicate that a salesperson recommended LED technology, while 25 per cent and 16 per cent of mystery shoppers received recommendations for LCD and plasma technology, respectively.