Retail sales staffs are recommending Samsung over other consumer electronic brands a new research study by JD Power has revealed. They have also said that the Sony brand is becoming less relevant and recommended by less than 25% of retail sales staff.
It has also been revealed that retail sales staffs are less likely to recommend LCD instead of plasma as the preferred technology platform.
To test their US claims in Australia we went to several NSW consumer electronics stores including Bing Lee, The Good Guys, and JB Hi Fi and Harvey Norman stores to test their claims. The two most recommended brands in Australia when it came to LCD TV’s were Samsung and LG. When it came to Plasma Panasonic was the most reccomended brand followed by LG.
Sony came in third and in some cases fourth in the LCD TV market which is not surprising as their share of market has slipped dramatically during the past year in Australia. They are however clawing some of that back according to the latest GFK data.
When it came to LCD Vs Plasma sales staffs at Harvey Norman were split with more than 56% recommending plasma in the 50″ and over market. While in the below 50% market 78% recommended LCD or LED.
Another observation was that when it came to what was perceived in Australia as the best HD TV technology overall the battle was between plasma and LED TV technology.
The new JD Power survey conducted in the USA claims that Samsung has made tremendous gains in the on-floor recommendations of retail sales staff during the past three months.
The study compiled the findings of more than 1,500 mystery shoppers who shopped at more than 1,200 major electronics retail locations.
Among the findings of the report was that Samsung LCD TVs are winning the recommendations of salespeople with increasing frequency at major electronics retailers while Sony is recommended by less than an a quarter of retail sales staff.
According to TWICE Magazine The 2009 JD Power Television Retail Insights Report which was issued as a press release, said that among major electronics retailers questioned, salespeople recommended Samsung LCD televisions to 58 percent of the study’s mystery shoppers which was up from 45 percent during the first three months of the year.
“Salespeople’s perceptions of Samsung LCD TVs are beginning to change from that of a value brand to a premium brand,” stated Chris Denove, J.D. Power and Associations operational research VP. “In addition to recommending Samsung more frequently, salespeople focused recommendations of the brand on its core attributes such as processor speed, picture quality and recent third-party awards it received, rather than on price.”
In contrast, the report said, Sony LCD sets, once a category leader, have steadily declined in retail sales staffs recommendations during the past 18 months.
During the second quarter of 2009, Sony was recommended to fewer than one-quarter of mystery shoppers, which was a shift from the first quarter of 2008, when overall recommendation rates for Samsung and Sony were comparable.
At one major retailer in Australia floor staff told us that the Sony brand was “expensive” when compared to other brands.
The report also revealed that salespeople were increasingly likely to suggest Panasonic sets to shoppers interested in plasma TV technology, while recommendations of Samsung plasma sets remained flat.
Despite the shift in brand recommendation rates, the likelihood that salespeople will recommend LCD instead of plasma as the preferred technology platform has decreased notably from the first quarter of 2009, according to a J.D. Power and Associates statement.
Meanwhile, the reported noted “a sizable increase in the proportion of salespeople who did not provide a recommendation for either technology.”
As is the case with brand recommendations, technology platform recommendations tend to be left up to the individual salesperson, rather than dictated by store policy,” J.D. Power said. “For example, even the store that recommended LCD technology most often still recommended plasma sets to 21 percent of mystery shoppers.
“The role of the salesperson’s recommendation is very important in large-screen TV sales,” said Denove. “The differences in quality among various TVs are difficult for most shoppers to distinguish as they face a wall covered with dozens of flat screens. Based on what they say about individual brands, skilled salespeople have a great opportunity to determine a shopper’s ultimate choice. Our mystery shoppers found that salespeople tend to recommend brands heavily based on personal opinion, rather than store edict.”
Please send an email to dwr@ 4squaremedia.com with your prefered brand in the LCD TV market, LED market and the plasma market. We are keen to get your feedback.