Shoppers are even more cost-conscious than they were last year when it comes to big-ticket appliance purchases, but a J.D. Power and Associates study found the customer’s overall shopping experience has a stronger impact on price satisfaction than the price of the appliance alone.
The 2010 Appliance Retailer Satisfaction Study, released August 4, 2010, measures customer satisfaction with the largest appliance retailers based on five performance factors:
• sales staff and service
• store facility
• merchandise (i.e., variety of brands/models offered and availability of merchandise and product information)
• delivery service
Overall satisfaction with appliance retailers has remained stable from 2009, averaging 788 on a 1000-point scale in 2010, compared with 786 in 2009.
Lowe’s achieves a score of 799 on a 1000-point scale and performed particularly well in: store facility, delivery service, and merchandise.
Two retailers tied for second place, both with scores of 792: Best Buy and hhgregg. Best Buy performed particularly well in the price factor, while hhgregg performed in sales staff and service.
The Home Depot came in next, scoring 784, followed by Sears with a score of 773.
“In 2010, more customers are shopping for appliances out of necessity to replace a broken appliance, compared with 2009, so it is not surprising that approximately two-thirds of appliance shoppers select a retailer primarily based on the price of their appliances,” said Christina Cooley, senior manager of the real estate and construction practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, once a customer goes through the shopping and purchase process, satisfaction with price is more heavily influenced by the customer’s experience with the retailer than the actual price paid.”
Satisfaction with price has improved by 11 points in 2010 compared to 2009.
“During these tough economic times, when consumers are more likely to be critical about prices, major appliance retailers are relying upon their staff to communicate the value of the retailer and the appliances and differentiate themselves from the competition,” said Cooley. “For example, the knowledge of the sales staff, how they address the customer needs, and how effective they are at demonstrating appliances, can positively or negatively affect customer perceptions of the value they are receiving for the price they paid for their appliance.”
The study also found that customers in 2010 are more likely to shop multiple retailers before making an appliance purchase.
to Daily News