By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Given the challenges of today's consumer electronics market, providing consumers with the opportunity to experience home entertainment in a rich and powerful demonstration is more crucial than ever.
In fact, in a CE business filled with the promise of exciting new technologies and products to expand home entertainment, a smart and effective demo can be a retailer's or custom installer's single most powerful tool for growing business and profits.
As many dealers are learning, however, the art of conducting an effective demonstration has changed considerably. Just as today's CE products have evolved, so have consumer expectations. With so many different kinds of entertainment media available to them, including portable digital music players, satellite radio and more, people experience home entertainment in all kinds of new ways. In order for a demo to really draw them in and sell effectively, it must reflect this changed experience. That means retailers and installers need to demonstrate more than just products; they need to show exactly how these products can add value, helping consumers build on their experience and get more enjoyment out of the products they already own.
For instance, with so many people looking to their portable digital music players as a key part of their overall home entertainment, why not begin every demo by plugging in an iPod? Better yet, ask the customer to plug his or her iPod into the system you're demonstrating, and then show them all the added benefits they'll be able to enjoy. This way, customers can learn first-hand how the system you're demonstrating can expand and enhance the overall home entertainment experience.
Similarly, determining a customer's preferences in music and movies before loading any software can also add to a demonstration's effectiveness. A great demo immerses the customer in the event, with personal touches that go far beyond simply describing a product's specifications and features.
Today's ultimate-quality multichannel audio formats give retailers and installers a powerful way to demonstrate a dramatically improved entertainment experience. So just as a proper demo setup should ensure that display devices are fed with either digital cable or satellite to demonstrate full HD content, DVD-Audio or SACD formats should be utilized to demonstrate multichannel audio whenever possible.
As prices on high-quality flat-screen TVs continue to come down, there is an opportunity for retailers and installers to build their businesses and profits, one that also includes showing their customers how to expand and enhance their home entertainment experience. People who purchase flat-screen plasma and LCD TVs are clearly in the market for an upgrade. This gives retailers an opportunity to increase their bottom line profits through add-on audio sales. While some longtime audio stalwarts may not want to admit it, video is driving audio sales in today's market, and that can be very beneficial for both manufacturers and retailers. Once again, the key is an effective product demo that shows people how enhanced audio will add to their home entertainment experience.
In order to maximize the sales potential of flat-screen TVs in a demo, retailers also need to understand the importance of products that can be sold along with them, including not just enhanced audio products but devices designed to fully integrate home entertainment and media content via a home network. These types of systems allow consumers to really take control and enjoy all the advantages of their home entertainment in a powerful and convenient way.
Denon is helping to lead the way in the fast-growing networking field, along with the addition of PlaysForSure certification and iPod connectivity, as well as in rich content delivery and media management such as XM Radio.
The bottom line is that people will always be willing to pay a premium for better home entertainment, whether that means better audio/video receivers, speaker systems, DVD players, headphones or other products. It's up to the retailers and installers to lead the way by showing their customers how these products can help them get more enjoyment out of life.
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.