TV Buying Trends: JB Hi-Fi Is King, Harvey Norman Sheds Customers

Consumer research group Global Reviews has released a report analysing the experiences of Australians looking to buy 46-55-inch televisions online. It found that JB Hi-Fi is the most preferred online store due to a perception of having the best prices. Harvey Norman, meanwhile, has a hard time holding onto would-be customers, with the majority defecting to another retailer before making their final purchase.

In a bid to discover how online shoppers reached their TV buying decision, Global Reviews ran a survey covering the entire purchasing process. Respondents were asked which retailers they were aware of before they began their search, the ones they visited and/or shortlisted and finally the retailer they decided to buy from and why.

JB Hi-Fi was the dominant choice, topping the survey in all stages of TV research. 49 per cent of respondents visited JB Hi-Fi online, of which 68 per cent shortlisted the store. Ultimately, 33 per cent of all those surveyed selected JB Hi-Fi as their preferred brand. This was due to a combination of having purchased from them before (52%) and a perception of having the best prices (48%).

Interestingly, Harvey Norman shared similar numbers to JB Hi-Fi during the research stage of TV purchases: the brand was visited by 46 per cent and shortlisted by 55 per cent. However, when it came to actual TV purchases, the results for Harvey Norman plummeted, with just 17 per cent of those surveyed electing it as their preferred brand.

In other words, more than half of customers who shortlisted Harvey Norman ultimately decided to shop elsewhere. Most of the customers who did choose Harvey Norman based their decision on it being a reputable brand they could trust, rather than price.

Image credit: Global Reviews

The Good Guys experienced similar difficulties when it came to holding onto its customers; 60 per cent of respondents shortlisted The Good Guys, but only 19 per cent stuck around to close the deal.

As you'd expect from an online-only survey, Kogan also fared pretty well, particularly when it came to price perception and stealing customers from other retailers. However, it only ended up with a 'preferred brand' score of 12 per cent — five per cent lower than Harvey Norman.

Harvey Norman also trumped Kogan when it came to how easy it was to locate products on its online store. According to Global Reviews, these results reflect the importance of online customer experience, along with price.

At first glance, the low placement of Kogan might seem surprising in an online retail survey. However, it makes sense when you consider it only stocks Kogan TVs; anyone looking to purchase a different brand is therefore forced to shop elsewhere out of necessity.

Have you ever purchased a TV online? Which retailer did you end up going with and why? Tell us in the comments section below!

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