The Consumer Technology Association, (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has 3 recommendations for the car audio industry, as car audio shops try to make the shift to becoming “car tech” shops, that are a destination for the installation of more than just amplifiers, radios and speakers.
The CTA’s Steve Koenig offered these suggestions (reworded by us) based on CTA’s research on consumer buying habits for infotainment and advanced safety products including blind spot monitoring and backup cameras.
Recommendation #1 – Sharpen Product Marketing Focus on Women (yes we know this will shut down your brain but please read anyway)
Traditional 12 volt marketing is all about men, but when it comes to new driver safety products for the car, it’s the woman that may be the purchaser-in-chief.
According to CTA findings, women are far more likely to be interested in a car for its safety features than men. So boosting awareness by women of the category is a big step towards better sales.
Recommendation #2 – Ease-of-Use Should Guide Product Development
This is for suppliers and retailers. The CTA study found that many consumer problems with car safety and infotainment comes from “awkward installations, ease-of-use issues or the device not meeting expectations.” It cautions that simplicity can be as important as great features. For that reason, the CTA concludes “Depending on the solution, the option to integrate with existing consumer technologies (e.g., smartphones, smartwatches) through apps may make sense as opposed to separate controllers, dongles, etc.”
Recommendation #3 – Consider Bundling Device, Installation Costs in Single Solution Price
The CTA said, “A key finding of the research reveals consumers have held-off on the purchase of aftermarket in-vehicle technologies due to the cost of the device or the cost of installation. Bundling installation service with a device could help overcome these objections by presenting a single ‘installed’ price. While many 12-volt retailers already do this, manufacturers may wish to employ this approach as well with a trusted network of installer partners. A single solution price meets consumers’ needs for convenience and value.”
The CTA study found that only 10 percent would think of a car stereo shop for an installation of a car tech product (15 percent would go to a Best Buy type store and 41 percent would prefer to go to a car dealer).
Consumers, however, are generally satisfied with their aftermarket installations. Only two percent of consumers are dissatisfied with aftermarket Bluetooth installations.
Fifty four percent said their installation of a Bluetooth device in the car met expectations and 44 percent said it exceeded expectations.
Also 23 percent of adults who don’t own Bluetooth technology are interested in an aftermarket installation. Cost is the biggest obstacle to the purchase, the CTA found.
Photo: Display at Car Toys