GE Profile Executive Brand Director Todd Getz in his educational keynote on Monday morning continued with AVB’s 2023 Summit theme of “Plugging In” by identifying a plethora of ways that the appliance retail industry can “capitalize on the growth of smartphones.”
Leveraging smartphones requires understanding the role that these devices and their computing power play in facilitating the shopper journey.
According to Getz, the shopper on average engages in 11 steps, beginning online, before engaging in an actual purchase. The steps he laid out are as follows: “They start online. They do research on regular prices. They look at sales. They look at features and compare features. Engaging in these steps is how they remember what is out there.”
Appliances occupy a unique segment of the retail market since they are big-ticket items. Market insight from GE Profile suggests that consumers spent about $909 on average on their latest appliance purchase. Such a significant investment is not to be taken lightly. 83 percent of these appliance consumers reported a love for cooking and 67 percent a love for cleaning. Therefore, it tracks that 49 percent of appliance consumers are willing to upgrade even if their old device works perfectly fine.
As a result, the smart appliance consumer typically spends more time researching products than the average consumer. This dynamic puts the independent channel in a unique position for success since the consumer is less likely to trust a big-box store to know how to aid them in such an important purchase.
Getz and GE Profile understand this dynamic, which is why they have become one of the first manufacturers to orient their national website to direct consumers exclusively to the independent channel.
When consumers visit the GE Profile website and click the “find a store” tab they will be given a list prioritizing the nearest authorized dealers in the independent channel. On the topic, Getz said: “It’s a significant opportunity to meet the needs of consumers when they are going online and how we can help them know where to go to buy.”
This type of online optimization among vendors is something that AVB CEO Jim Ristow is eager to build upon. When asked by Dealerscope about the significance of such a program, Ristow said: “We started a dialogue with vendors about a year and a half ago as we saw the rise in DTC in the appliance market. We’ve built collaboration with vendors so that our members can tick these boxes… to hit the boxes needed to be named a Platinum or Gold dealer.”
True to the theme of “Plugging In,” Getz’s educational keynote emphasized with practical realism the need for retailers to optimize the online consumer experience.