Savvy shoppers challenge dealers.

Author:Autry, J.K.
Position:Outdoor marketplace

Dealers, you can run special deals and promotions, finetune customer service and create an enjoyable shopping experience, but customers are unlikely to reach for their wallets if the price isn't right. A recent survey from The NPD Group found that 85 percent of consumers say price plays a crucial role in deciding where they'll spend their money.

The survey also reported consumer importance of:

* Sales and special deals: 75 percent

* Customer service: 56 percent

* Convenience of store location: 60 percent

* Ease of shopping: 60 percent.

These numbers may not apply exactly to those who shop in gun stores, but they are likely very close. Also, one of the challenges dealers face is consumers have access to vast amounts of instant info.

"Shoppers are now savvier when spending money. They have new ways of gauging the marketplace--they can compare prices on the web while at home or while standing in a brick-and-mortar store with their smartphones," said John Deputato, NPD senior vice president, advanced analytics. "We certainly have moved to a time of calculated consumption for shoppers ... and price has come to the forefront of the purchase decision."

Age may equal wisdom and wiser spending habits, but even younger customers are concerned with prices, according to the survey. Seventy-nine percent of young adults aged 18 to 34 are concerned about price tags, NPD reports, with the number steadily rising through the age brackets. Almost 90 percent of 55-to-64year-olds place a heavy emphasis on pricing.

Income also doesn't lessen a customer's concern about proper pricing. Customers bringing in $25,000 to $50,000 in annual salary are only slightly more likely to value...

To continue reading