Jakarta, Indonesia - Mobile accessories and devices sales have skyrocketed in the last couple of years as technology has also been advancing. The increasing demand for smartphones have also driven manufacturers of mobile gadgets to increase their stocks and double their efforts to innovate depending on the needs of the consumers. But as the technology is fast changing, so are trends and preferences. With dozens of new models and units, one item can be hot in the first couple of months and be totally forgotten on the following days. It is already a cycle in the modern world and distributors have accepted the risk and challenge to deliver the products fast and be constantly updated on the latest releases.
One sector, the wearable, is yet to have that worry since we are still presently at the time when wearable devices are slowly being appreciated. It may not have reached its own peak of success yet but soon, its popularity is set to surpass that of monopods. In their review of the total adoption of people on wearable gadgets, the Peterson Group, distributor of mobile phone accessories and laptop peripherals in Taiwan observes that “this category will have a long and profitable tail. In fact, key products released this year have given wearables a healthy bump in terms of market expansion and popularity”, says Ian Peterson, CEO.
To the average consumer, these wearable refers to the Apple Watches. While it is true that Apple has contributed to the mainstream appreciation of the device, it is not the only brand and product to drive this category into its slow but steady success. As a matter of fact, fitness bands are skyrocketing with high average selling price opportunities. Authorities even found fraud fitness bands on black markets which are being flocked by health cautious customers.
See, as technology advances, consumers are willing to pay for more sophisticated products. If you haven’t experienced these sales in your store there’s a reason for that too: less than 5% of fitness band purchases were made at a wireless carrier store. That means there’s a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of this growing segment.
Retail stores often disregard these products and instead focus on the sales of headsets, chargers and other most in-demand devices to avoid the risk of investing. It is, however, highly advisable to include these products in your line of products albeit limit its quantity. Furthermore, it is also important to have sufficient knowledge on the background of this particular category to sell it well.
We are currently in an era where even three year olds know how to navigate their way through smart devices. Since it is already a part of social norms and lifestyle, mobile phones and its accessories are already considered necessities. Knowing at least the basics on both its physical features and applications is almost innate in us.
With the confidence that at least 90% of the overall population of any developing and/or developed country is knowledgeable in mobile devices, retail owners oftentimes neglect the importance of training their employees on the fundamentals of the field or at least reviewing the depth of their knowledge. True, retailing mobile devices is not rocket science but it is not a stagnant industry either. Technology, as we all know is constantly evolving and changing and with what is currently happening, the shift is spurring fast and we have to be updated on the latest to constantly be in the loop. Besides, training also enables us to understand the going in and out of the business.
No Olympic medalist can learn their sport overnight. Every athlete needs ample amount of training and practice to succeed. Just as well, in order for your business to grow, you and your employees need to establish proper training regimen.
We, at the Peterson Group, for instance, conduct annual trainings and seminars for our own employees. Since they need to understand the process and system of our company, we strive hard not to confine them on their own respective departments alone. We urge them to interact with each other’s teams that will enable them to identify the weight of each other’s responsibilities. Although retailers encompass smaller scale teams, the people within that company also need to understand their own job description. This is also to avoid illiteracy complaints and enhance skills.
Allan Winchester, director of sales at PEW Retailing in Jakarta, Indonesia states, “A skilled and trained sales consultant will maximize the consumers’ experience by understanding the client’s needs with their lifestyle by asking the right qualifying questions and positioning all products and services available for the consumer to have the full experience with their device”.
Product training also boosts the “Wow” factor each company should have when it comes to technical specifications and is essential in strengthening credibility. Which company would want to be tagged as fraud just because their staff doesn’t seem to know what they are talking about?
However, despite being a good tool, a lot of organizations and human rights advocates fail to realize the implications of using mobile phones to good use on development initiatives. In a review of the practice in most developing countries, most humanitarian workers either unconsciously undermine or are not fully aware of mobile phone’s capabilities. As much as the revolution of mobile phones has been able to take down communication barriers among individual trends and cultures, it has not been used much in beneficial causes. In fact, in a survey conducted by The Peterson Group, distributor of mobile phones and laptop peripherals in Taiwan, respondents were asked on the top five benefits of mobile industry. Only 2 out of a hundred random respondents thought of including its benefits during natural calamities.
When a tsunami hit Sumatra, Indonesia last 2004, help and assistance were only received after a day or two as people were too absorbed to capturing the huge waves splashing the seaside than to report to authorities. The government of Jakarta has already expressed grave disappointment on how the citizens have handled the situation in the face of great calamity. Most experts are also concerned of the worsening phenomenon as adaption to mobile technology grows deeper.
Different government entities also support the use of mobile phones on health advocacies despite its’ own warnings of the danger of overexposure in its usage. For instance, the government of Ghana has opened text line at the times when counterfeit medicines are causing high mortality rate in Africa. One free text to confirm the bar code of a particular drug can determine whether it is legit. Despite all the attention and money being poured into mobile health, it is this area in particular in which serious privacy concerns arise. In Ghana’s case, drug counterfeiting continues to increase while the government’s effort is set aside.
More critical thought about mobile phones and their rights’ implications is urgently needed; the risk that development initiatives unknowingly create legacy systems to aid impermissible surveillance or other rights-limiting regimes is significant.
Experts say our devices are one of the leading sources of modern germs and bacteria which can affect our health. Each of our gadgets gathers dust, oil, grime and dirt. It is inevitable. Being equipped with tools to maintain the cleanliness of our modern devices and combat future germs is essential to create sanitary protection for our phones, accessories and of course, our health. The following are the list of cleaning materials fit for our mild OCD character against germs:
1. Microfiber cloth
This is usually packaged for free along with the other basic essential once you buy a brand new laptop. Microfiber cloth is one way to clean your devices of fingerprints and grimes without using water or any fluid which can cause electronic damages and dangers. It also works directly as advertised. You can just wipe it off on your device’s surface. It is also available for sale on retail stores for a cheap price although you can use a fraud version using any available cotton cloth.
2. Cleaning Fluid
3. Cleaning Compound
There are times when the dirt is too thick that neither the microfiber nor cleaning sprays can wipe it out. These profuse grimes may have been accumulated from years of under maintenance or collected in the nooks and cranny parts of your devices. Cleaning compounds are mostly used for this challenging ordeal. The compound, which resembles a gooey and slimy substance, can shape shift and sip into the hard-to-reach corners and pick up the accumulated dust or dirt. Moreover, after you are done cleaning, you can still store the excess goo for future uses.
These cleaning tools are available in many retail stores especially in mobile kiosks and stalls. For bulks and large quantity orders, you can sign up a form through the Peterson Group website http://the-petersongroup.com/ for Asia-Pacific locations.
However, many companies who have started with one of these two would not dare risk getting into the other without considering the complexities the company may undertake.
Far from what people think, channeling your business towards retailing is easier and more profitable and more importantly, makes more sense when you are planning to extend your business and brand into a higher level.
Not only does the profit double if you have both wholesale and retail, your brand can also spread to a wider audience, as stated in the review conducted by The Peterson Group, wholesaler of mobile phone accessories in Taiwan which have also invested into several retail branches in Jakarta, Indonesia.
To invest into this new venture, you have to ask yourself the following questions:
1. How much investment are you ready to make?
How much are you willing to delve into the retail game? This will determine your level of investment. Choices range from e-commerce to pop-up stores to franchising.
Moreover, for retail businesses, you cannot just expect the consumer to barge into your physical store and buy your product. You must consider the location, staff and other overhead cost. For an online store, you have to embark to critical and aggressive marketing strategy to break through the competitive internet traffic by other retailing businesses.
2. Will it not conflict on your stock terms and agreement?
Opening up a retail store does not mean that you will have to give up on your wholesaling business. It would only mean that your task is doubled. Moreover, some of your clients will now see you as a competition from merely being a supplier. You may face verbal complaints or even loss of some of your clients. The key lies on treating them as partners, not underselling them.
3. How will you sell your product?
Not only should you sell your products, you also have to market it. Building a presentable visual is a big plus in your new retailing business, whether it is a website or a physical store. You have to invest in both online and physical presence.