Buying local benefits consumers
The accessibility of technology and growth of online shopping has seen many consumers bypass local channels to gain access products from elsewhere before they are available in their traditional retail markets. As Thierry Boulanger, Director of IT Solutions and B2B at Samsung Africa cautions, this is not always ideal as using the correct channels provide benefits that people might not always be aware of.
“While technology adheres to certain uniform principles, some manufacturers tailor their devices to suit the requirements of specific countries. For example, the Samsung Built for Africa programme sees products designed to meet the needs, resources, and conditions of the continent,” says Boulanger.
Following extensive research and development, Samsung has applied this methodology to products ranging from televisions, fridges and even to air-conditioners. These are tailored to be specific to the needs of consumers in Africa. After all, regions with high temperatures and humidity require products that are designed differently than those used in colder Northern European conditions. Examples of these solutions include the Samsung’s range of Duracool refrigerators that stay cooler for longer without power or surge safe TVs that are able to withstand power surges.
“Not only are many of our products designed for local market conditions, but consumers often forget that buying from the correct local channels provides them additional benefits as well – including the likes of access to the support structures and platforms in those countries when it comes to warranty fulfilment, where Samsung has a 24 month warranty policy,” adds Boulanger.
Repairs can be quite expensive on imported devices as there is often a lack of spare parts in local markets. What’s more, often the product isn’t designed to meet local market compatibility specifications. Just think of an all-in-one printer that includes a fax option purchased from a store in the United States. The modem inside that unit is designed for the telecommunications networks of that country and not for the ones in Africa which can result in many frustrations.
“At Samsung, we are committed to providing our customers with a premium experience. When they purchase their products through the correct local channels, we can control how effectively that experience is implemented. It’s about understanding the market conditions, unique customer needs and building products and relevant support channels specifically for this. We have done exactly that an as such, urge consumers to investigate the benefits that purchasing through authorised channels provide,” concludes Boulanger.