Have more retailers embraced smartphones? How will dealers lacking cellphone experience fare with the category?
Warren Chaiken, Almo:
We have not seen a significant change in the landscape of who is selling smartphones. It will be challenging for non-traditional cellphone retailers to add value in this market. The one exception to this rule may be unlocked phones.
Jeff Davis, D&H Distributing:
Yes, retailers have embraced the smartphone trend. These devices drive traffic, so a smart retailer will be in the category.
Eddie Lageyre, SED International:
[Non-traditional cellphone retailers] probably won’t be players in the space. At this point, with 4G starting to take hold in major markets by various carriers, we expect a “wait and see” period coming up. Anyone coming out with smartphones that won’t work with 4G will see issues in the market.
Fred Towns, New Age Electronics:
The opportunity that non-traditional cellphone retailers don’t have is to command more sales by selling them as a consultative product on floor. Most retailers offer a better customer service and returns experience, so if they handle selling smartphones to their customer well, the customer might consider them when buying products from the other categories sold in their store.
Bill Stewart, Petra Industries:
Over the past few years the cellular category has exploded with new technology and platforms. We’ve seen our retailers and e-tailers have a lot of success in the category, particularly with the accessories like chargers and cases.
Our role is to help dealers, even if they don’t sell wireless plans, find ways to capitalize on these opportunities. Our merchandising team focuses on having the latest accessories well in advance of a phone release. This helps our dealers react quickly, diversify their offerings and keep their shelves stocked so they are ready when the consumer walks through the door.