The addition of tablets to the BrandSource product portfolio serves all of the group’s diverse channel segments, said Ristow. “We have multiple types of members, including ones in the rent-to-own category, traditional TV/appliance dealers who may need to generate traffic, and then the high-end ProSource/HES members that need to complete their convergence ecosystems. So we’ve tried to come up with solutions for all three of those member sectors. Having tablets available can finish an ecosystem, or be a marketing piece they could use to drive traffic, or be something to rent to drive revenue,” he explained.
Lawrence noted that the BrandSource App is alone in the market as the only home appliances app. “No box stores and no other channels have that,” he said. The app uses GPS technology to find dealer locations, provides directions, and lets browsers check the minutiae about a product, down to color choices. One of its best uses is on the salesfloor as a sales associate tool. “It will help salespeople answer questions about specs and features. Now, they don’t have to shuttle back and forth to check. They never have to leave the customer’s side.” The app also allows checks of competitive pricing for all the surrounding-area retailers, and lets store personnel check into EW2’s inventory so that if a customer wants a SKU that’s not on the floor, it can be looked up and checked for availability and time to delivery.
“Another thing it does is it takes our members to the level of a virtual showroom. A dealer can walk a customer through 8,000 SKUs in a very systematic way, build the right solution, and quickly get that product in. It legitimizes the small dealer, and greatly expands the dealer’s mix, overnight,” added Ristow.
Ristow also provided an update on the February-announced Connected Source initiative – the turnkey concept developed for Home Entertainment Source (HES) members so they can display and demo the latest technologies in a showroom in a store-within-a-store model, at low cost. He said the program is in three beta test programs at present and that additional announcements would be made later in the year.