UK retailers recommend Samsung products ahead of Apple

According to the latest research from Informa Telecoms & Media, sales staff at leading UK retailers are more likely to recommend a Samsung device ahead of an Apple one despite Apple’s widespread marketing and advertising campaigns.

A “mystery shopper” survey conducted over the Christmas period across eight of the UK’s the leading retail stores revealed that Apple and Samsung were the most promoted brands while key smartphone makers like ZTE, Huawei, Motorola, LG and RIM had little or no presence on the high street.

The mystery shop showed that the most recommended Samsung handsets were the Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy Note II, despite having been on the market longer than the latest handsets from Apple, Nokia and HTC. However, most surprising was the way that, despite an in-store advertising campaign and recent product launch, Apple was recommended in only two stores, 3 and Phones 4 U, with both recommending the iPhone 5.

A key aim of the survey was to gauge whether displays and posters promoting vendor brands increased the likelihood of sales assistants recommending devices from the brands being advertised. Also assessed was the level of technical expertise and ability to communicate key features of the devices as demonstrated by the sale assistants in each store.

The sales assistants in most stores recommended one of Samsung’s handsets, showing the fruits of the vendors’ increased focus on its “hero” devices, such as the Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy SIII, though it is also likely that sales assistants see the Samsung devices as a safe bet to earn greater commissions.

These results echo a mystery shopper survey which was conducted last summer across five sales outlets located in the Silicon Valley, California area. The results from that survey revealed that the best-represented brands, in terms of prominent displays, were Samsung and HTC. When it came to mobile phones recommended by the sales assistants in the various stores, Samsung was by far the best-represented vendor, having recently released the much-anticipated Galaxy SIII. The UK mystery shopper survey shows that this device is still going strong. The iPhone, possibly the most well-known smartphone, was only promoted by a single sales assistant.



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