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Phone-Wielding Shoppers Strike Fear Into Retailers
GaryK




msg:4243373
 11:10 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Phone-Wielding Shoppers Strike Fear Into Retailers [online.wsj.com]

Tri Tang, a 25-year-old marketer, walked into a Best Buy Co. store in Sunnyvale, Calif., this past weekend and spotted the perfect gift for his girlfriend.

Last year, he might have just dropped the $184.85 Garmin global positioning system into his cart. This time, he took out his Android phone and typed the model number into an app that instantly compared the Best Buy price to those of other retailers. He found that he could get the same item on Amazon.com Inc.'s website for only $106.75, no shipping, no tax.

Mr. Tang bought the Garmin from Amazon right on the spot.

 

Mark_A




msg:4244419
 3:04 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

These issues were going on big time when I bought my first digital camera 10 years ago.

I could touch it in the shop but they could not match the 30-40% less I needed to pay online to buy it.

I bought online.

ByronM




msg:4244447
 4:11 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

You have people like me who price shop and use their new smartphones to make an even better decision and then you have people so suckered into a brand they buy it regardless.

With that said, i don't think much is changing. You have apple fanatics willing to pay 50% markup on products just for the brand and you have PC fanatics using amazon/bb/newegg and other retailers to build their own super PC for a better price than a low end mac.

yet, pc manufactures seem to do fine and apple does fine :)

directwheels




msg:4244453
 4:21 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

ByronM: You have apple fanatics willing to pay 50% markup on products just for the brand


[youtube.com...]

lgn1




msg:4244612
 9:35 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I will pay a premium for expert knowledge and customer service; otherwise I will buy online.

For example; I buy most of my computer and electronic toys online because I am very knowlegeable on the subject, and I know that those geek squads at the big electronics stores are their for one reason, and that is to lie through there teeth, and to try to upsell and to peddle those overpriced extended warranties.

When I am taking up a new sport like windsurfing (well new to me), I visit the privately owned small sport shops that specialized in this equipment. The manager is an avid surfer and has tons of experience. Sure the price is at a premium; but I am paying for a valuble service.

dpd1




msg:4244620
 9:41 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well, if what BB did to me today on a delivery is common, I don't think they're going to have to worry about it... because they'll be going the way of Circuit City pretty soon.

frontpage




msg:4244671
 12:35 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

"As a result of consumers equipped with smartphone devices, holiday shoppers will use the technology now at their fingertips to get better deals, comparison shop and increase their overall satisfaction with the shopping experience.

Study data revealed that during this holiday season, 29 percent of all smartphone owners intend to use their device to look for a better price, 23 percent will be looking for product reviews, 22 percent will receive sale alerts and 20 percent will search for products at another store. Shoppers also plan to make use of additional features such as mobile barcode scanning technology (19 percent) and coupons received on their phones (19 percent).

The research also showed that shoppers intend to employ their smartphone cameras, with 34 percent planning to take pictures of products in store and 25 percent planning to send pictures to other people to solicit opinions."


B&M shops better get with the trend in comparison shopping with smart phones.

frontpage




msg:4244676
 12:39 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

What Happens When Three Savvy Shoppers Hit the Mall, Smartphones in Hand

The Dallas Morning News tagged along with a trio of shoppers testing out just how helpful their smartphones and various apps would be on ventures inside stores such as Macy's, J.C. Penney, Target, Best Buy, Sears, and yes, Williams-Sonoma and Apple.


[money.blogs.time.com...]

ebound




msg:4245644
 5:17 pm on Dec 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

I had an experience with this years ago in the furniture industry. E-tailers were outpricing B&M. Buyers would go in and sit on it, pick their fabrics, colors, etc. - then go online and order it - saving 20%. B&M outlets went apesh** and manufacturers responded to protect them with minimum pricing.

buckworks




msg:4245747
 1:28 am on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

In many cases the primary reason people have the confidence to order their desired item online is that they had the chance to see it in a B&M.

When B&Ms no longer find it worthwhile to carry certain product lines, the manufacturers who supplied them will need to be very careful about assuming that demand would hold steady or that sales lost in the B&M channel would be made up in other ways.

GaryK




msg:4245805
 6:51 am on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Back in the day we had a store here in town that carried many of the items you'd find in BB stores today.

You could hold it, play with it, ask questions about it and compare it to other similar items. Anything you could do in a BB except actually buy it on the spot and take it home.

Instead, you'd fill out a form which you took to a central cashier and paid for it. It would then be shipped to you from their central warehouse. It was later replaced by stores like Service Merchandise, from which you could buy it and take it home with you.

All at prices very much less than the same exact items at a place like Burdine's, a local chain of mega-stores later bought-out by Macy's.

I can't help but wonder if something similar today would help solve the smartphone dilemma?

votrechien




msg:4245821
 7:58 am on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm a firm believer that sustained lower prices generally equals better business effeciency.

The Best Buys of the world deliver products to their consumers more effeciently than higher priced Bob's computers and the Amazon's deliver products more effeciently than the Best Buys (hence their lower prices). It's business Darwinism.

The path of retailers in the past several decades has been contraction to a few mega retailers. The internet represents the height of this- now instead of a few mega chains in each city, there's a few mega chains in each continent.

It's the evolution to a perfectly effecient market.

buckworks




msg:4245901
 4:25 pm on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Bonjour, Votrechien, and welcome to Webmaster World!

Sometimes "perfectly efficient" is a matter of perspective. Theories of business Darwinism can work okay if all we ever want is commodity items, but not so well for items that need to suit variable human owners.

When I was shopping for a leather recliner chair I must have sat in about fifty chairs over two months before I found the one that really fit me. It was "love at first sit", and I've enjoyed that chair for a dozen years now.

If I had just ordered a chair online (or from a catalog) without trying it personally, I might have gotten an attractive price but the odds are about 98% that I'd have missed the one that delivered the perfect "Ahhh".

In a scenario like that, my definition of "perfectly efficient" would be very different from some economics professor!

dpd1




msg:4246082
 8:43 pm on Dec 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm a firm believer that sustained lower prices generally equals better business effeciency.

The Best Buys of the world deliver products to their consumers more effeciently than higher priced Bob's computers and the Amazon's deliver products more effeciently than the Best Buys (hence their lower prices). It's business Darwinism.

The path of retailers in the past several decades has been contraction to a few mega retailers. The internet represents the height of this- now instead of a few mega chains in each city, there's a few mega chains in each continent.

It's the evolution to a perfectly effecient market.



Oh brother... Now is this 'perfectly efficient' according to a college professor, or 'perfectly efficient' as in, actual reality?

I just ordered something from BB. They gave me my choice of delivery dates online. I picked one. That day came and no confirmation call, no nothing. I called them and was put on hold for 40 minutes. Yes, 40. Some robot of a support person comes on and it's like... 'Order? What order?' He proceeds to tell me that it wasn't even available until 4 days after my delivery date that they gave me. Never mind the fact that it said it was in stock when I bought it. Throughout the entire call, the guy was obviously under the impression that I was never given the delivery date that I claimed, and that he basically just thought that I was either a moron, or full of sh**. Never once in the entire conversation did I get anything remotely resembling an apology. Obviously they're yet another business that believes they're always right, and the customer is always an idiot.

So the day before the new delivery day comes and still no conformation call. Another call to them and I get put on hold for another 30 minutes. They say it is in fact setup to be delivered, but they don't know why I wasn't called. I'm given a number to the delivery center for this area, which is about 1 1/2 hour from here, even though there's 4 BB stores within 1/2 hour of me, or less. Gee, that's efficient. I get put on hold with them for about 25 minutes, and then I'm told it will be delivered... but for some reason I just wasn't called. If you took the total amount of time I spent on hold for this, I could have driven to a store and brought the thing back myself in that time.

The guys show up the next day three hours before the window they gave me. The truck they were using looked like it had been parked in a ghetto every night it's entire existence, and frankly, the three delivery guys looked like they just snuck across the border the night before.

Efficient? Maybe for them, though I doubt it. Good business? Uh, no... Not even close. Bottom line... The reason why a business can get away with doing stuff like this, is because the whole system has become so 'efficient', that no other business which tries to do a GOOD job can even compete. So I wouldn't exactly say that's positive.

incrediBILL




msg:4246085
 9:11 pm on Dec 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just like stores used to ban the use of cameras, they are well within their rights to ban cell phones in the store which they may be forced to do.

Cell jammers are illegal, but have been used and so far never prosecuted in the US AFAIK, but you can certainly build or retrofit your store like a faraday cage and the problem is history.

FWIW, I typically never make it as far as the store anymore. I do comparison shopping first, and if the online deal significantly trumps the store deal, it's ordered and on it's way. The only thing I've purchased from BB in ages was a new Logitech keyboard and mouse just because my mouse broke and I wanted a new one RIGHT THEN AND THERE! ;)

One last note, in California with 10% taxes, even if the online price matches the brick and mortar price, it's an instant 10% savings to order online if you get free shipping or use Amazon Prime.

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