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Fewer Demos For Advanced TVs: Report

Westlake Village, Calif. –
Salespeople at leading CE chains tend to demonstrate 3D and smart TVs less
often than more familiar technologies, a J.D. Power and Associates study has

According to its 2011 Television Mystery
Shopping Report, only 44 percent of sales associates provided a product
demonstration of a 3DTV’s features, while just 34 percent demonstrated or even
discussed smart TV with the marketing firm’s undercover agents, and actual
offers to demo smart sets averaged 7 percent.

Most simply provided verbal
descriptions of the newer technologies, J.D. Power said.

This compares with 56 percent who
provided demonstrations when asked to explain overall differences and features among
various TV models, brands and technologies.

The report also found that salespeople
who are more aggressive about closing the sale are more likely to provide
product demonstrations.

The study is based on the on-site
evaluations of more than 600 trained mystery shoppers who visited various CE
stores between April and June. Chains included ABC Warehouse, Best Buy,
BrandsMart, Conn’s, Costco, Fry’s, hhgregg, PC Richard & Son, Sears and
Walmart, as well as members of the Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO
Group) buying group.

PRO dealers, along with ABC
Warehouse and Best Buy, had particularly high demo rates for smart TVs, the
study showed.

“Among retailers included in the
report in both 2011 and 2010, IPTV demonstration rates have tripled from 4
percent in Q4 2010 to 12 percent in Q2 2011, but this is far from what we’d
expect to see for a newer TV feature and leaves significant room for
improvement,” said Tim Fox, account manager at J.D. Power and Associates.

He noted that retailers can “boost
both demonstrations and sales rates by providing sales staff with the training
and information they need to be comfortable showing features and technologies
to customers.”

 The report also found that LED technology is
recommended much more frequently by salespeople than LCD and plasma displays.
More than half of mystery shoppers (55 percent) indicated that a salesperson
recommended LED technology, while 25 percent and 16 percent of mystery shoppers
received recommendations for LCD and plasma technology, respectively.