Super-premium A/V specialty dealer, custom installer and system integrator Audio Advice has entered the e-commerce waters.
The North Carolina company believes it has come up with a website that can convey the curation, consultation and customer service that have made the business renown within the industry and among area enthusiasts.
A TWICE Excellence In Retailing Award winner, the two-store chain said its new interactive digital storefront is designed to mirror the fully-immersive listening and home theater demo environments of its Raleigh and Charlotte showrooms — and to introduce the dealer to a national audience.
The site features top products in each price category, including headphones, digital music systems, turntables, speakers and other components from brands like Sonos, Audioengine, Astell&Kern, Bowers & Wilkins, Master & Dynamic, Rega and Pro-Ject.
Visitors are invited to complete a personalized “sound profile” to determine their tastes, preferences, interest in technical performance and budget, while in-depth buyer guides offer side-by-side product comparisons.
The site also offers video tutorials and reviews by staffers to help build familiarity with the gear; real-time access to Audio Advice consultants via phone or online chat; plus free shipping, set-up guides and a “no-hassle” return policy.
“We want to convey online the same dedication to product knowledge and service that you get in person from our staff of specialists, some of whom have decades in the business,” said founder Leon Shaw. “We will continuously produce new content as we discover great new products, especially those unknown diamonds in the rough that make our site so exciting for everyone who loves high-quality sound.”
Shaw, who doubles as president of the company’s buying group, Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), founded the business 38 years ago as a Raleigh stereo shop. He brought in Harvard Business School graduate Scott Newnam in 2007 as president, CEO and partner.
With its new e-commerce functionality Audio Advice plans to expand beyond its Southeast base to serve a nationwide marketplace, targeting a broader and more diverse audience including music-savvy millennials.
The company said the transition to digital audio servers and streaming music players represents an opportunity to guide product and purchase decisions, as is exploding demand for premium turntables as sales of vinyl LPs continue to soar.