Electronics Stores Compared – 2018
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Compare electronics retailers Bing Lee, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks and The Good Guys on factors including customer service, value for money, relative price, layout of store, product range and overall satisfaction in 2018.
Canstar Blue research finalised in August 2018, published in September 2018.
See our Ratings Methodology.
The Good Guys make it eight years at the top
For many Australians, the electronics store is the adult version of a candy store, with the latest gadgets and gear enticing us in, even when we don’t need it! An electronics retailer usually stocks the latest and greatest appliances for every room in the house, including televisions, fridges, laptops, dishwashers and phones, along with all types of assorted goodies. Electronics retailers also allow you to walk out the door with your goods, meaning you can start using them as soon as you get home – making it handy for those keen on trying out their new purchase straight away, or those who have an appliance on the fritz.
When it comes to choosing an electronics store to do business with, we are met with plenty of options, both from big retail chains and small boutique stores, all providing a variety of deals to get you through the door. As a result, choosing the closest store down the road may not give you the best deal, nor is the biggest store guaranteed to give you the best service or bargains. You’ll naturally want a great price, but you’ll also want great customer service and an overall good shopping experience.
To find out which retailers are getting it right on price, service and other important factors, Canstar Blue conducts an annual survey, asking Aussies to rate their experience visiting one of Australia’s major chains. In 2018, electronics stores have been rated in the following order for overall satisfaction:
- 1st The Good Guys
- 2nd JB Hi-Fi
- 3rd Officeworks
- 4th Harvey Norman
- 5th Bing Lee
Incredibly, this is the eighth year in a row that The Good Guys has topped our customer ratings, scoring five-star reviews across the board. The aim of our research is to find out which stores are keeping Aussies the happiest and the trend over the years suggests The Good Guys is streets ahead of the rest in terms of customer satisfaction.
The survey found that customer service is the greatest driver of satisfaction when it comes to shopping for new electronics, ahead of value for money and relative price. If you haven’t been getting the service you would like, it may be time to take your business elsewhere.
Read on for some tips on how to get a good deal when you head in-store. And here are some of the key findings from our 2018 survey:
Service with a smile
While it’s important for retailers to offer a variety of products and brands, (after all, we all want different things), customer service and staff friendliness often impact a shopper’s decision as much as the price tag. Attentive and knowledgeable staff can make purchase decisions easier for shoppers as well as ensure they walk out the door with the right product. But how attentive should staff members be? Survey respondents were asked if and when they like to be approached by sales staff when they head in-store. This is what we found:
- Yes, as soon as I walk into the store is fine – 13%
- Yes, but only after I’ve had a chance to look around – 68%
- No, I do not like sales staff approaching me – 19%
We also asked respondents what the most frustrating aspects of shopping in store are, with staff members also featuring prominently:
- Pushy sales staff – 21%
- A lack of sales staff to assist me – 17%
- Not having the items I wanted – 15%
- The store being overcrowded/no room to move – 10%
- A lack of knowledge from sales staff – 10%
- Long queues to pay at checkouts – 7%
- Stereotyping by sales people – 5%
Just 14% of respondents stated that they had no frustrations when shopping in-store.
Where to get the best deal – price matching
With plenty of stores to choose from – and the option to shop online instead – the retailers need to give customers a good reason to visit them in person. As a result, most retailers have some form of price match guarantees and discounts to get people in the door. Here’s what each retailer in our report can offer you in terms of finding a better deal.
Under its ‘Competitor Pricing Policy’ – which can be found on its website – Bing Lee says that it will match the competitor’s price, but only when a number of conditions are met. These conditions include that the said competitor is a registered Australian business, has at least two physical stores, and that it physically has the product in stock.
Additionally, Bing Lee’s price matching policy only applies to products available through either its physical or online store, and is not available on products purchased through Buy Now, Pay Later options, including Finance and AfterPay.
Harvey Norman has a ‘Shop with Confidence’ price guarantee, stating that it will match genuine advertised prices from local stores and leading online retailers, with details and FAQs listed on the ‘Price Guarantee’ section of its website.
Consumers can request a Price Match up to 7 days after the time of purchase, with Harvey Norman simply asking for proof of the competitor’s advertised price for the identical product. This does not apply to offers that include cashback, bonuses, bulk purchases, quantity limits, or package deals, plus items on clearance or products delivered from an overseas distributor.
JB Hi-Fi says it will match the price of an identically stocked competitor product, and states via its website that it is open to negotiations when it comes to large items.
Price comparisons for those who shop online must include delivery costs, as well as exclude any additional offers such as cashback, store credit, bundled promotions, clearance products or limited-edition products. Full details are available via the ‘Pricing’ section of its website.
Known for its wide range of stationery and office goodies, Officeworks provides a ‘Price Beat Guarantee’, offering to beat an identically stocked item by 5%. Shoppers simply have to provide proof of the price and contact their local Officeworks store for the price beat, although a number of conditions have to be met.
The item must be stocked at both Officeworks and the competitor’s store, and must not include any deals involving cashback, coupons, commercial quantities or stock liquidations. There are also some limitations for products found online, so be sure to either check out Officework’s website or contact your local store for full details.
The Good Guys
The Good Guys offers a number of price beat guarantees, with the company’s primary guarantee coming in the form of the ‘Beat It’ offer. Essentially, if you find a similarly stocked item, even after you have already purchased it through a competitor, The Good Guys will ‘beat’ the deal.
The item must be in stock by the competitor, and can only be sold by certain competitors, with The Good Guys listing the main competitors on its website. Additionally, the guarantee doesn’t apply with bonuses, clearance products, cashbacks, or discounts and online retailers such as eBay. If you’ve already purchased a product, then found the same product at The Good Guys within 30 days of the purchase, The Good Guys will pay back 120% of the difference. See the website for full details.
Which electronics retailer should I visit?
Electronics retailers can be a fun place to spend an hour or so, as well as a saviour for those looking to fill their house with new appliances and gadgets. But with so many options to choose from, finding the right physical store to visit can prove a challenge, especially when you add in the allure of shopping from your couch. 24% of respondents to our latest survey said they prefer to purchase electronics online rather than in store, indicating that physical retailers need to offer a little bit extra to get people through the door.
With all that in mind, it’s important not to assume that the first store you walk into will be giving you the absolute best deal. Sometimes finding the right store and the right deal requires a little patience. And give some thought to what you actually want from your visit – if you have a good idea of what you want, price will naturally be a major deciding factor. But if you’re looking for some expert advice before getting your credit card out, you might decide a different store is the place to go. With that said, we hope our ratings are helpful the next time you head out looking to buy a new TV or any other big ticket item.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,017 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a product from an electronics retailer in the last 12 months – in this case, 1,808 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.