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Which Kiwi electronics retailers are winning with consumers?

05 Nov 15

Kiwi shoppers are happy to benefit from some in-store electronics advice then head home to find an online bargain – and they’re not afraid to admit it.

That’s the findings of a new survey from consumer research and ratings company Canstar Blue, which quizzed more than 1800 adults around New Zealand and found almost one in five – or 18% to be exact – have benefited from in-store electronics advice before heading home to find an online bargain.

The survey also reveals which retail electronics outlets rate the highest with consumers, with respondents, all of whom had visited an electronics retailer in the last six months, asked to rate the store they most recently visited across a range of research categories.

And the winner? PB Tech, which topped the list across price, service, product range, value for money and overall customers satisfaction, gaining five stars in each of the categories.

The company was only beaten out of top spot in the store layout category, which went to 100% Appliances – which had four stars across all other categories.

Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman also both got four stars out of five across all six categories, with JB Hi-Fi gaining four stars in all categories except point of sale service, where the retailer dropped to three stars.

The Warehouse gained four stars across overall satisfaction, value for money, price compared to others, and store layout, but lagged with three stars for point of sale service and product range.

Dick Smith brought up the rear with just three stars in each of the six categories.

Jose George, Canstar Blue general manager, says when consumers shop in-store they naturally want to get a good price on the products they buy, but other factors also come into play.

“Having a good range of products to choose from is important, as is the layout of the store. And consumers also want knowledgeable staff on hand to help them make those big purchase decisions,” George says.

Meanwhile, while Canstar dubs showrooming ‘the ultimate retail sin’ the survey shows it is apparently rife in New Zealand, with Aucklanders the worst offenders, with 26% ‘fessing up to the behaviour.

Consumer in Wellington (13%) and Hawke’s Bay (12%) were found to be the least likely to do it.

Gen Y respondents (28%) are much more likely to showroom than Gen X (18%) or Baby Boomers, and women (19%) are more likely to do it than men (17%), the survey found.

George says shoppers want the best of both worlds.

“The perception is that some products are simply cheaper to buy online, so many consumers are happy to take advantage of in-store sales advice before going home and searching out the best possible price online,” George says. 

“They want to see and touch the latest gadgets in the flesh before they commit to buying online, but they don’t want to pay for that service.

“They either don’t realise the effect this has on the store-front retailers, or perhaps more likely, they simply don’t care,” he says.

“Fortunately for the retailers though, not everyone gets that advice and then runs home to buy online.”

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