All Is Not Lost in the Video Market
The rapid decline in flat-panel pricing continues, and it seems like there’s no bottom in sight. Or is there? If you could prod some of your customers into buying more highly-featured sets, the average price might actually go up.
A salient question arises, then: What do you really know about your customers and their true motivations for buying new TVs?
Only a relative handful of enthusiasts—the early adopters, the HD DVD/Blu-ray enthusiasts, the gaming freaks—truly understand the benefit of HDTV technology. For them, the value of high-def is apparent. It’s a no-brainer for them to pay more for a 1,080p set than for a 1,080i set. It has twice the resolution, they reason, so of course it costs more.
A few buyers might be motivated by the 2009 analog cut-off date. And as an industry, we’ve been criticized for not making consumers more aware of the conversion date. As more buyers gain awareness, sales of digital TVs, especially secondary sets, will really take off.
Noel Lee, Head Monster of Monster Cable, hit the nail on the head recently when he said the majority of people who buy HDTVs are purchasing them solely to replace failing sets or because they like the look and style of flat panels. Many consumers may like the lifestyle enhancement a wall-mounted set represents, but have no idea what they’re really getting—and no clue of what they could be buying.
With a little education, you could convert some of those “majority” consumers into home theater enthusiasts who understand the true capabilities of HDTV and thus desire to purchase the best technology they can afford.
Communicate the benefits behind the specs
Does the average consumer shopping for a 42-inch flat panel really understand the differences between the $999 LCD at Costco and the $1,999 plasma you sell on your floor?