I got a quick shout in the Newark Star Ledger regarding the state of CE retailing. Certainly an industry fairing better than many, but still enduring a few punches to the proverbial gut. We all own smartphones and that has empowered the consumer at retail (I recently proclaimed this as NOT a trend anymore) with instant price comparisons across town and across the Internet. A story not told as much is the CE retail space has gotten crowded with manufacturers getting into the mix and selling straight to consumers. Many have even opened retail stores.
Now it is incumbent upon the store front to demonstrate its value to consumers when the lowest price can’t be offered. Specialized services work but consumers have said they want their local retailer to be a fixture in the community (the definition of that will of course vary). Maximizing the social media presence beyond a Facebook page is a start. Engaging consumers who reach out to them in cyberspace should be the goal. The relationship customers have with their local electronics retailer has changed as has the way we all consume and disseminate information. Shopping has become a process of taking in data – to find offers, the perfect device, the best add on services– as well as sending it out (to friends, colleagues, back to the retailer). Understanding this flow and inserting one’s store into it will help keep the store down the street top of mind.
Image courtesy of NJ.com