By Dave Workman, ProSource President/CEO

Most audio/video retailers understand the importance of putting the right products on the shelf. But we can’t just assume that having the right products will necessarily translate into robust sales. Your online competitors are using sophisticated algorithms to track every nanosecond of the online experience and so you have to use every advantage you have. And I think the biggest advantage retailers have is the ability to demonstrate products.

When retailers combine effective product merchandising with an engaging shopping experience, they are more likely to see an increase in sales and an increase in customer loyalty. Imagine shopping in a great environment and finding exactly what you were looking for. That’s a store I know I can go back to again and again.

Let me share six products that must be demonstrated to fully inform and entertain the customer. 

8K TV. Especially for a new video format, demonstrating the amazing resolution and color vibrancy is a must. And with improved resolution and four times the amount of pixels over 4K TVs, the new 8K big screens have amazing off-angle viewing. So more of the family can gather around the big screen for those special sporting events. Another important aspect of demoing 8K TVs is the sophisticated upscaling that takes all of the customer’s existing video library and renders it into amazing 8K resolution.

High-Performance Audio. Most consumers are aware of only a few audio brand names, and those are of course the ones that spend the most money on advertising. Don’t assume your customers aren’t interested in true high fidelity. The only way to find out is to put on a great demonstration. From floor-standing to in-wall to soundbars, the old adage, “Hearing is believing” still rings true. Get excited about music and your customers will, too.

Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos is the preferred surround sound format for top Hollywood film directors. There really isn’t anything quite like being immersed in an Atmos sound field. Retailers should download Dolby Atmos trailers and have a great demo set up for customers inquiring about this unique surround sound format. When you knock their socks off, they’re one step closer to pulling out their credit cards.

Lighting. There has been an evolution in the lighting industry in the past few years. With tunable, full-color spectrum LED lighting getting the attention of interior designers and homeowners alike, you have to be in a position to demonstrate the tremendous flexibility of these new lighting sources. From multi-purpose fixtures to accent lighting, a proper demonstration will excite and inspire.

Control. There are literally thousands of apps available for thousands of IoT home products. But imagine having to open an app on your phone every time you want to lower the shades, or turn up the lights, or switch from Spotify to Netflix. Nothing will ever replace a sophisticated automation system with one-touch control and an intuitive user interface. Properly demonstrated, homeowners understand how vital these estate-wide control systems are to the modern smart home.

Personal Technology. Don’t forget to allow your customers to play with the latest personal technology products. There really isn’t anything like actually demoing headphones and other personal tech products. So make sure to have a range of personal tech handy for those customers who want to try before they buy.

When you give an effective demonstration, you become the expert in the room. And people like to buy from experts because they feel they are in great hands. And taking the time before the sale to fully inform customers also pays dividends in that customers have more confidence that you’ll be there after the sale as well. Those are powerful attributes to have when you compete against those online algorithms.