Your local tech store is often your first stop for all the information you need about technical products. Their experts, you may assume, can answer any questions that you have and get you out the door with the products that fit your needs. While it may be true that they’ll happily direct you to the products you want to purchase, you’ll find that if you’re starting with that trip to the tech store, you’re missing a step in the process. Conducting your research online before you visit a tech store manager is a critical part of buying new technology and equipment. Around 76% of shoppers have learned the value of online research before making a purchase–and there are several reasons why. There are many reasons to do your online research before visiting a tech store but, we will present you with 6 of them so you can get started.
Reason #1: You’ll Get Direct Access to Vendor Information
When you walk into a store, the salesman becomes the middleman between you and the vendor. While that can be helpful when you need them to interpret specific information for you, you may find that some salespeople are more eager to make a sale than they are to provide accurate information. Worse, even the most honest salesperson with the best of intentions may not know everything you need to know about a specific device. Doing your research online before you head to the store ensures that you get all the information.
Ensure compatibility with existing devices and software. When you add a new device to your existing network and setup, you want to be sure that it’s compatible with the devices already on your network. At the same time, you want to be sure that it can run the software that you use every day. Checking online for this information before visiting a salesperson prevents you from getting an ‘I’m sure it will work!’ in the store, only to discover when you get back to the office that it won’t.
Get all the information about the product. Do you need a printer that is entirely wireless? Require a laptop that has the latest security features? Doing your research online before heading to the store allows you to double-check all of that information.
Check vendor prices. Vendors often have a specific price point at which they prefer to sell their items. Sometimes, stores mark up those items–and knowing where the vendor price lies gives you negotiating power.
Reason #2: Get Live Information
Often, the newest releases come out online long before they’re in stores. Not only that, you’ll be able to find teasers and other warnings of coming new releases, which could lead to substantial discounts on existing equipment or offer new features that you’re willing to wait for. Not only that, online research yields the latest information about sales and discounts at a wide variety of locations rather than merely offering you whatever the best value is in the store. Doing online research may also give you a better idea of what questions you’d like to ask of the experts–and many vendors offer direct connections with their customer service team online so that you can be sure of the products you want before you buy.
Reason #3: Become More Engaged with Multiple High-Level Resources
When you walk into a store, the salesman is likely your only resource. While they’ll provide you with whatever information they have, they can only provide you with what they know–and they might not have immediate access to all of the information about the products you’re considering. Online, you have the ability to:
- Compare information from a variety of sources to be sure that it matches up
- Examine all the details associated with your preferred products
- Contact vendor experts with any questions you have about the information provided online
Reason #4: Check Unbiased Reviews
Chances are, the salesman you’re dealing with in the store hasn’t used the exact model of laptop or printer you’re considering–and even if they have, that’s only one source of information about a device that is used extensively in your business every day. Before you make a purchase, you want real reviews from people who have used the technology on a regular basis! While not every review you check is entirely unbiased, you’ll also find that reading through a wide range of reviews gives you a great look at how your preferred device functions in a real-world environment. 84% of customers admit that they trust online reviews as much as they trust reviews from their friends, making it an excellent place for you to get more information about real product users.
Reason #5: Compare Products Side-by-Side
Are you considering several different products before you head to your local tech store? Does your store have them all–and are they located where you can easily compare specs, look at the price, and compare essential details in one comfortable spot? Turning to the internet for research before buying allows you to make a side-by-side comparison of the items you’re considering. Not only that, the internet can yield the information you need even if an item is out of stock or exclusively sold online–a convenience you won’t get when you’re shopping in the store alone.
Reason #6: Take Your Time
Salespeople are known for being pushy–especially those who work on commission or who have quotas to meet. By researching online before you head into the store, you can take your time before making a decision, reviewing all of the information at your own pace before diving in and making a purchase. If you need to discuss information or numbers with your team before making the purchase decision, you can do that at your leisure, without leaving a grumpy salesperson behind you. Online shopping puts the timeline back in your hands, where the only pressure you’re likely to get is an extra email or two encouraging you to revisit a site.
Doing your research online before making a purchase is a smart shopping decision that helps ensure your successful purchases. Whether you’re buying one machine for business use or heading out to purchase new laptops for your entire time, online research ensures that you’re ultimately happier with your purchase.