Home Appliance Use Cases
Looking for Home Appliance Sales that Stick?
The art of successful big-ticket home appliance sales can be complex. MarketSource has unpacked the challenges and simplified the process for retailers. Partnering with some of today’s most iconic brands, we are experts at adding value to the shopper’s journey, satisfying each customer’s needs, improving the customer experience, and assuring retailers of expert brand representation and greater sales volume. Here’s how we solve your toughest home appliance sales dilemmas.
Virtual In-Store Browsing Overcomes Limited Product Facings
With limited shelf and floor space, not all home appliance products can be on display at all times.
And you may have a full line of similar products at different price points sitting unpacked in your stock room, forcing some shoppers to make a buying decision from the limited array of products in front of them.
And there may be other similar or higher-end products in the same line from the same brand not on display—whether they’re sold out or still sitting in an unpacked box in the stock room. Or on-display products may be available but lack the necessary peripherals and accessories customers need to get optimal use of the item—or, in some cases, even make a device turn on at all!
Best case the customer buys what they think is available, only to return the item later. Worst case, the shopper leaves the store empty-handed, and searches for the item elsewhere. Retailers can prevent this. After all, why limit customer purchases to only what they see on display? As the associate presents more options to the customer, supported by real-time information from a knowledgeable brand expert, they are more likely to come away more confident in and happier with their purchase.
Just as online shoppers can browse deeper into a full product line to discover all the related features and benefits, MarketSource’s AskMe® can solve brands’ dilemma of not being able to have every product and peripheral on the shelf by giving the in-store customer virtual access to their full product lines. Via a quick QR code scan, AskMe brand experts can walk customers through detailed product options and information on the spot. AskMe puts shoppers in touch with a live appliance brand expert who can answer questions about each appliance, compare how individual products differ from others, suggest suitable models and accessories, and confirm inventory availability.
AskMe virtual brand representatives also improve partner support and relationships, and increase brand sell-through via convenient, on-the-spot sharing of product and feature information. By helping consumers make more informed purchases, they’re more likely to be happy with their decision. And that happiness can mitigate returns and avoid cancellations on orders scheduled for delivery.
And the personal, one-on-one conversation and interaction between brand expert and customer becomes a memorable moment. The human factor has entered the equation, which transforms purchasers into loyal customers.
Effective Brand Advocacy Increases Brand Loyalty and Average Selling Price
What transforms a first-time customer into a loyal follower of your home appliance brand? What makes a regular customer stay with you for the long haul?
We recognize the key role effective brand advocacy plays in fostering brand loyalty. As part of a larger effort to convey a brand’s compelling story, we arm our sales teams with the tools they need to tell a brand’s compelling story. We embed ourselves into a brand’s sales ecosystem—fostering relationships with retail staff and management at all levels—so we can communicate their value proposition as effectively as possible. To do that, we equip our sales reps to have detailed conversations on the product’s value, features and benefits, reliability, and quality compared to the competition.
Our highly trained, in-store, home appliance sales teams—particularly at big-box stores, home improvement retailers, and large department stores—make a concerted effort to establish and enhance their relationships with store staff beyond the appliance department. This has become essential for retailers facing staffing shortages, which puts current staff under more pressure to take on broader responsibilities. It also helps us remain up to date with and respond to what retailers need and want on a daily basis.
With AskMe®, customers are invited to enter a virtual showroom via text, web, or video chat while a personalized brand expert escorts them as they browse available products. AskMe brand experts can walk around and open the products the customer is interested in, explain how various features work, compare models, and demonstrate the products in action. Highly trained in and knowledgeable about all aspects of all the products in the showroom and able to ask customers directly about their specific situations, brand experts can also recommend the best product to meet their needs.
AskMe product experts can also focus on selling higher-end, premium products—increasing and maintaining higher average selling prices for the retailer. AskMe product discovery experts not only can reconnect and heighten customers’ experiences but help brands get closer to and convey their brand story directly to customers.
We also ask our teams to hold business meetings with store managers and district managers to synergize and work on solutions for each store/district. This allows us to leverage the in-store relationships we’ve built to ensure successful product launches, trainings, and sales events.
Smooth, Successful Product Launches
When a home appliance brand is preparing to launch a new product, who you gonna call?
The MarketSource sales team, of course! Prior to your initial launch date, get in touch with our teams—whether across the U.S. or regionally—to let them know which products you plan to replace or transition out. This gives our teams the opportunity to coach all the store staff and sales reps about the new product and the brand value proposition and get them excited about representing both.
Once the new product lands in stores, we validate its flooring and train on its features and benefits. We educate our teams thoroughly and empower and pump them up to introduce the new products, so they can convey an authentic level of enthusiasm to shoppers. During and post-launch, MarketSource in-store and remote reps will continue to encourage customers to check out the new products to help ensure sell-through.
Brand Advocacy Increases Accessory Sales
Rather than an afterthought, increasing accessory sales allows us to increase average sales per hour.
We also increase accessory sales by suggesting add-on products, such as pedestals, over-the-range microwaves, or larger ticket items.
When a customer is buying a front-load washer, for example, we ask them how they plan to set up their new product at home. If they’re installing their units side by side, we recommend and show them the benefit of adding a pedestal to their purchase. We show them how, with a minor additional investment, they can create a better set-up at home, which increases product satisfaction.
Infuse the Customer Experience with Personalized Service
In recent years, retailers have learned that customer experience means everything to the bottom line. Shoppers relish those special personal touches and interactions that make brands and stores outshine the competition.
However, two major challenges stand as hindrances to retaining—and enhancing—personalization of the shopping experience.
First, home appliance shoppers accustomed to the immediacy and instant gratification of online browsing and purchasing often come into a store expecting a similarly speedy and frictionless experience. They are used to comparing various models with different features easily and at different price points. But most retailers don’t have the space to carry or display the volume of products, models, sizes, and accessories that customers can potentially see online. Thus, customers who come into the store, eager to finally be able to touch and examine and see home appliances in person, often find their hopes dashed.
Their disappointment is palpable: “What? You only carry the two larger models? Can I see it in white rather than silver? When will you be stocking the 4.2 version so I can come and see it? Can I try it out first?”
When you can’t answer these kinds of common questions satisfactorily, you may very well lose a sale—in addition to losing a potential lifelong customer.
Second, rampant staffing shortages have led to fewer associates available to assist customers at all, let alone give them individual attention and satisfactorily answer their pressing questions. Customers are easily frustrated when no one is there to help them find what they are looking for, explain a product’s features, clarify the advantages and disadvantages of various product choices, etc. Once again, giving the customer a reason to seek satisfaction elsewhere.
AskMe gives retailers a way both to overcome these challenges and enhance personalized services. AskMe® puts users in direct, on-the-spot contact with brand experts in real-time. It all happens via live chat or video, or phone or text messaging—however the customer prefers. These at-the-ready experts represent the brand and the product(s) on display in the store and are able to offer assistance with pre- and post-sales questions of just about any type.
Highly trained AskMe product experts step in with the latest knowledge, leaving store associates free to handle other valuable tasks. And customers appreciate being able to ask detailed questions, obtain meaningful information, and get the personalized guidance they need to make a confident purchase decision. AskMe reps are equipped with both pre- and post-sale support tools. For example, they may suggest promotional offers and utility rebates, along with measuring guides.
Post-sale, customers can also access AskMe for help locating repair and service providers and receiving online product support. Home installation guides provide users and installers with quick videos and instructions to facilitate proper product installation and optimize performance.