By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
With HDTV sales gaining momentum, adding high-margin accessories to the sale of an HDTV set is now a necessity for consumers as well as retailers. Accessories are a key to providing consumers with the maximum HDTV viewing experience and increasing satisfaction. The HDTV market has created new opportunities to add to each customer's total sale, therefore increasing the retailer's profitability.
HDTV sets are being installed in more and more home entertainment rooms. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) upwardly revised its DTV unit sales projections from 4 million to 4.3 million for 2003. It projects that 5.7 million DTV units will be sold in 2004, 9.4 million in 2005, 15.6 million in 2006 and 23 million in 2007, with some 85 percent of those sales going toward HDTV products.
There are numerous advantages in providing customers with everything they need for a complete HDTV installation at the time of sale, advantages that benefit everyone involved — the consumer, the manufacturer and the retailer.
In order for customers to enjoy the widest range of HDTV programming with the best-possible picture and sound, they'll need the right accessories, such as a quality off-air HDTV antenna to provide reception of local HDTV broadcasts in full resolution.
As part of closing a sale, it's important for the salesperson to mention that most 1,080i content, which is often considered the only "true" HDTV, is available via off-air broadcasting, and the customer should strongly consider purchasing an off-air antenna to get the full value of their new HDTV set.
By providing complete, one-stop shopping, retailers not only keep all the sales, including high-profit accessory sales, under their roof — they increase customer satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat customers. Increased customer satisfaction also results in fewer product returns.
Increasing numbers of retailers are aware of the need to provide customers with total HDTV solutions. For example, Best Buy now offers HDTV reception bundles, which include an HDTV antenna and installation.
An off-air HDTV antenna is an important accessory sale. In fact, many viewers will choose an off-air antenna as their only means of HDTV reception. This is due to an antenna's ability to provide free reception of local HDTV channels in the full 1080i or 720p resolution that can be broadcast by HDTV stations, without the downgraded signal sometimes delivered by cable or satellite, and without incurring the additional cost of cable or satellite HDTV.
Consumers who choose to receive HDTV via cable or satellite can also benefit from adding an off-air antenna to their installation, to supplement the sometimes-limited content offered by these services and provide a backup for weather-related system failures.
A number of additional accessories are available to complete a customer's HDTV installation, offering retailers additional profit opportunities. For example, because HDTV signals are wider bandwidth than standard TV broadcasts, HDTV-compatible cables, amplifiers, multiplexers and other products that can handle the wider HDTV bandwidth without degrading the signal can be included in the sale.
Today's customers want all the best that HDTV can deliver, and providing them with the right accessories with their HDTV purchases assures that they will experience all the extraordinary image quality and viewing excitement of HDTV as it was meant to be experienced.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.