Retailers fail to demonstrate IP devices due to interest costs

Consumers who are looking to try before they buy may find that a number of stores are unable to show them products with internet enabled devices work due to poor or even non-existent internet connection.

A recent survey, which was published in SmartHouse, has found that 90 per cent of Australian consumer electronic vendors sell devices without the facilities in place to demonstrate how shoppers can actually use them.

And the findings are a worry to retailers, with many of them potentially losing sales to competitors in order to avoid the costs associated with high electricity prices and internet bills.

"The big issue is cost," asserted a representative for Harvey Norman.

"We have slow sales and no margin left in TVs, and to introduce internet into stores is a major cost element.

The same spokesperson went on to explain: "We already have extensive electricity bills due to the amount of device that need to be powered on every day to layer on an additional cost that could be as high as our electricity costs if not viable."

However it seems that dispute over who should shoulder any additional costs may not be clear as retailers and vendors fail to agree on this point.

A senior staff member at Samsung is alleged to have said that it was not necessarily in the best interests of vendors to take on the cost of ongoing internet bills.

"If consumer electronics retailers are unable to demonstrate how an IP enabled device works in their stores they are going to lose a sale to the likes of Apple, who not only have Internet in their stores, but allow consumers to browse for free," said a Samsung executive.

But it seems that most people working within this industry are aware of the benefits of demonstrating internet enabled products, many of whom highlighted the positive impact it can have on profit margins.

Panasonic chief Steve Rust told the news provider that selling IP enabled technology was difficult without an internet connection, as well as reducing staff access to important educational resources that are normally found online.

He also made it clear that it was important for all businesses in this area to be able to demonstrate how their products work in order to drive sales.

Local chain stores that do not have in-store internet connections available to customers include Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, The Good Guys, Myer, David Jones, Retravision, Wow Superstore and Betta Electrical - JB Hi Fi is in the process of rolling out this feature.

Posted by Charlie Moore