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Shooting Industry July 2012 Digital Edition - Page 26

Outdoor Outdoor marketplace Savvy Shoppers Challenge Dealers ealers, you can run special deals and promotions, finetune customer service and create an enjoyable shopping experience, but customers are unlikely to reach for their wallets if the price isn’t right. A recent survey from The NPD Group found that 85 percent of consumers say price plays a crucial role in deciding where they’ll spend their money. The survey also reported consumer importance of: • Sales and special deals: 75 percent • Customer service: 56 percent • Convenience of store location: 60 percent • Ease of shopping: 60 percent. These numbers may not apply exactly to those who shop in gun stores, but they are likely very close. Also, one of the challenges dealers face is consumers have access to vast amounts of instant info. “Shoppers are now savvier when spending money. They have new ways of gauging the marketplace — they can compare prices on the web while at home or while standing in a brick-and-mortar store with their smartphones,” said John Deputato, NPD senior vice president, advanced analytics. “We certainly have moved to a time of calculated consumption for shoppers . and price has come to the forefront of the purchase decision.” Age may equal wisdom and wiser spending habits, but even younger customers are concerned with prices, according to the survey. Seventy-nine percent of young adults aged 18 to 34 are concerned about price tags, NPD reports, with the number steadily rising through the age brackets. Almost 90 percent of 55-to-64year-olds place a heavy emphasis on pricing. Income also doesn’t lessen a customer’s concern about proper J.K. Autry D pricing. Customers bringing in $25,000 to $50,000 in annual salary are only slightly more likely to value pricing as extremely important than those making $100,000, at 87 and 82 percent, respectively. Setting retail prices poses a challenge to dealers for a variety of reasons. You already know what NPD reports: that the Internet has helped consumers become more knowledgeable than they’ve ever been. Toss into the mix evolving shopping habits and a wavering U.S. economy, and setting retail prices becomes tricky for dealers. “Manufacturers and retailers recognize that setting the right pricing strategy is a competitive advantage in the marketplace, but pricing is more difficult today than it was prior to the recession,” Deputato said. “We’ve been working with the top retailers and manufacturers, conducting price elasticity research to understand the wide range of potential impact on profits, depending on the possible pricing decisions. Prices can’t arbitrarily be set; it takes information and a thorough thought process to come up with the right price.” Dealers, what strategies do you use to set retail prices? How do you handle this challenge, and the growing power consumers have in Internet-based knowledge? We at SI would like to hear from you. Email me, J.K. Autry, at: editor@shootingindustry.com. To review The NPD Group report, visit www.npd.com. LED Lenser Partners With Operation Smile ED Lenser is partnering with Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity, to supply doctors with the H14R rechargeable headlamps. “When we got the call from Operation Smile with the request to donate lights for medical operations, at first it was a surprise, but it totally made sense for their needs. It’s a real honor to know our products will play such an important role in such a life-changing event for a child in need,” said Roger Bjorklund, vice president of marketing. Operation Smile’s medical volunteers perform delicate and demanding reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities, such as cleft lip and cleft palate. “The LED Lenser headlamp was the perfect solution, being so bright, powerful and rechargeable,” said Lisa Jardanhazy, vice president of strategic partnerships at Operation Smile. “We’re very excited to be working with LED Lenser to get these lights out to our medical volunteers worldwide.” Visit www.ledlenser.com. L LED Lenser is donating its H14R model to Operation Smile. Continued on page 28 Dealers — Are you using Shooting Industry’s Product Index? It’s an invaluable resource, offering: Links to hundreds of new products, magazine articles and company websites Visit www.shootingindustry.com. Click “Product Index” 26 JULY 2012 SI DIGITAL Bonus Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com

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