By Chris Nicholls

EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA: A US study by electronics supply chain analysis group iSuppli has confirmed price, not educated staff or good service, is by far the biggest consideration when consumers decide where to purchase a TV.

The ConsumerTrack study, which surveyed 15,000 households in the fourth quarter of last year, found, rather unsurprisingly, 59.6 per cent of those with incomes under US$25,000 surveyed gave price as the main consideration when choosing a television retailer. Contrary to expectation, though, those with incomes between US$100,000 – $149,000 put even more emphasis on price, with 63.1 per cent nominating it as key when choosing a TV retailer.

Product selection came in a poor second, at least for those in the higher income bracket at around 15 per cent, while for those in the lower income bracket, location took second spot, with 15.5 per cent of respondents nominating it as a key consideration.

Sadly, for retailers who invest in high levels of staff training and education, it seems only a very small number of people, under 10 per cent for both income groups, listed educated and helpful staff as a key consideration.

However. iSuppli’s survey did reveal that the highest-ranking retailers also scored well in terms of customer service and staff helpfulness.

“With thinning retail gross margins, retailers could appeal to consumers not only by keeping their prices competitive, but also by offering superior service and staffing with better-trained personnel than their competitors,” said Tina Tseng, an analyst covering consumer electronics channels at iSuppli.

The research holds particular relevance in the US, where more than 40 per cent consumers still purchase a TV from traditional consumer electronics chain stores. Only 18 per cent of those surveyed said they had purchased their sets online.