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143: Diving Into Holiday Shopping Trends and More with Dealerscope

Written by Rob Stott

November 1, 2022

Fresh off of his first trip to Berlin for IFA 2022, Dealerscope Senior Managing Editor Sam Hitt hops onto the podcast to talk about the latest gadgets, holiday retail trends and more. We dive into everything from gaming tech, e-mobility trends, the Metaverse — and the list goes on.


 

Rob Stott: All right. We are back on the Independent Thinking Podcast. I do a lot of these things, and it’s not often you get to say, you get to podcast with someone that works for a place where you used to podcast. But that’s what we’re doing today, and that’s courtesy of Mr. Sam Hitt, our… Our, I say, right? No. See, I’m stepping right back into my shoes over there at Dealerscope. But now, the senior managing editor at Dealerscope. Sam, appreciate you calling in and having a podcast with us here today.

Sam Hitt: Oh, absolutely. Thanks for having me on.

Rob Stott: Not a problem at all. So, first of all, how are you? How are things going? How’s everything going over there at Dealerscope?

Sam Hitt: It’s good. It’s good. We’re very busy right now, between this fall season, I’m sure as you would remember.

Rob Stott: Yes.

Sam Hitt: Between IFA in September and then looking forward to CES, we’ve got a bunch of different shows going on right now. We’ve got-

Rob Stott: I just…

Sam Hitt: Sorry.

Rob Stott: No, I was going to say, I don’t know what it is. If the whole industry got in a room and was like, We are just going to make it impossible for trade editors to have a life during September and January. But it feels like that’s what they did.

Sam Hitt: Oh, I know. I feel like they decided all fall too.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: Let’s just throw everything else in there.

Rob Stott: Get it in while we can now.

Sam Hitt: Yeah, exactly. I think it’s partly the lead up to the holiday season. I think people are getting ready to carry different devices and they’re looking, This is the big retail season. Q4 is when people really start spending money. So…

Rob Stott: Getting it out there for the consumer, getting the new product launch, getting the news out while they can and trying to drum up as much hype as possible from all over the industry for sure. So, now remind me, you are… Your role at Dealer Scope. You’ve been there officially for… Because I know you were… Were you an intern and then part-time? Or what was the… So, now you’re full time. And has it been a year?

Sam Hitt: Yeah, yeah, it’s been almost a year and a half.

Rob Stott: Okay.

Sam Hitt: So, I started my senior spring of college as an intern.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: That was back in 2021. And then I came on full time when I graduated. And then obviously, and that was as an associate editor and then moved up to senior managing editor last April.

Rob Stott: So, what’s that year and a half been growing in the role? What have you taken from it or learned? How’s it evolved you in the past 18 months or so?

Sam Hitt: Oh yeah, absolutely. It’s been great. I started out obviously not having too much experience. I didn’t major in journalism, right?

Rob Stott: Right.

Sam Hitt: Or anything in media. So, it definitely a learning curve on getting my writing to less academic and more informal, more easier to read and understand from a standpoint of…

Rob Stott: Writing to the people.

Sam Hitt: Yeah, writing to the people.

Rob Stott: Not a professor.

Sam Hitt: Not a professor. Also, you just understanding the industry a lot more, right? When I first got in, I didn’t really know much about the industry. So, it took about I think six months to really gain a grasp. And I’ve learned so much about… The tech industry is… I always tell people it’s amazing because it touches pretty much… If you’re interested in any theme that you could possibly be interested in, technology is going to touch it in some way, shape or form, right? So, it’s just a great opportunity to cover a variety of different topics through a tech lens. And there’s so much cutting edge stuff going on right now.

Rob Stott: Well, and one of the ways to do… To get ingrained, we make fun of the travel, but is to get out there at these shows. And obviously… I guess early on, would’ve been… With you starting there would’ve been right around the end of when things… So, you got the virtual shows, I’m sure right out of the gate. And then now, obviously things are getting back opened up and shows are happening again.

And I know one of those shows was a show that the last time it was held, I was still an editor at Dealerscope. So, unbelievable to think that this September… This early September, experience for IFA out there in Berlin was the first one since 2019. But you hadn’t missed one in person since I was there, so that’s crazy to think. But for those that don’t know, IFA, one of the largest tech shows in the world. Over there, Berlin, they hold it at the Mesa Berlin campus. It’s like, God! What? 20 some buildings of technology across several floors within each of those buildings. So, a lot of product, a lot of people and a lot of walking over the five or six days that you’re there. But-

Sam Hitt: You’re right, yeah. I’ll put it this way. I think it’s about a mile from one end of the campus to the next. It takes you about 15 to 20 minutes to just walk across the… Dead shots straight through, walk across. It’s not-

Rob Stott: Easy to get lost too. Easy to get turned around on that campus for sure. But…

Sam Hitt: Oh yeah, we had it all down to a science though. We had our maps pulled up on our phone, they had a nifty little app that helped us like Google Maps for IFA.

Rob Stott: That’s awesome. Well, what a way to dive into it too, because you’re your first IFA, Mesa, Berlin, owner of CT Lab. So, obviously we get the treatment while you’re out there, right? So, you get to experience the show and see it from a different angle. But what was the experience like? I know… Was it your first international trip too? Is that a thing or…

Sam Hitt: No, no, no, it wasn’t my first international side. I’d gone on to Mexico in the spring to cover an independent distributor in some…

Rob Stott: Okay.

Sam Hitt: Which was pretty amazing. And we… Took me on a trip around Mexico City through both the informal and formal sectors of the economy.

Rob Stott: I got you.

Sam Hitt: So, that was a pretty cool trip. But this was definitely my first… Was my trip to Berlin, which was great. I loved it. I thought it was a really cool city. Also, we were there in the lead up to Octoberfest, so that was cool.

Rob Stott: Yes, that’s a nice wrinkle to it for sure. But..

Sam Hitt: I’m sure you remember they have the beer gardens on.

Rob Stott: Yes. All over the place. It’s one of those tourist traps. They say Octoberfest, but it’s really all September that it goes on. So, it’s-

Sam Hitt: Right.

Rob Stott: It is what it is. And I never complained about it. But what kind of things did you experience going from building to building that… It’s obviously… From what I recall, you see a lot of the innovative tech and things like that, but it’s also very much a home show because there’s a lot of appliances, more than I ever anticipated seeing over there. All the appliances and brands that you see in a different light too, like the Panasonic’s that have their own big room that are still huge in Europe and things like that. So, I’m sure a lot to take in for a first timer over there.

Sam Hitt: Oh yeah, there’s so… I would put it this way, I think it’s a great opportunity to see the European market, right? I think it’s different than anything we’d have in the States because part of the challenge as an editor covering content there is that a lot of these products aren’t necessarily in the States yet, right? So, you’re seeing all this cool tech, these cool brands, but they’re not necessarily operating in the States or have plans to go to the States. So, you have to filter through all of that to… Because there’s also… Part of the cool thing is there’s also stuff that’s like, you see it in the EFA, at IFA and you’re like, Okay, I can see this coming to the States and becoming a big trend in the next five to 10 years, or growing in the States. And so, there’s also a lot of cooperation on that front.

So, some of the coolest things I saw came out of the e-mobility sector. Europe is, I would say way ahead of United States when it comes to e-mobility, right? With e-bikes, if you look at… I went to Amsterdam afterwards to visit a friend. And they’ve got these bike racks, right? It’s like a full parking garage for bikes. And the e-bikes are a massive part of that. People just bike… Instead of a car, that’s the mode of transportation. So, there’s just a lot of development going on in that sector that I think is going to come to the United States very soon. So, I think it was a preview in that sense. Obviously, then there’s a lot of other cool sustainability based products that I think Europe’s really big into. So, that was cool to see as well.

Rob Stott: Yeah. And it’s also a show too. The trends are something that… Like you said, they’re probably a little bit further out over here than they are in terms of what they’re seeing in Europe. You’re also getting to see everything from a brand. So, you think about some of the booths that you might see at a big show, this side of the pond, over… There’s still massive booths and they bring a lot of product and things. But over there, a Sony or an LG or a Samsung, they get an entire building and show everything that they’re doing across the entire company. So, it’s overwhelming in a sense, but it’s neat to see the breadth of what those companies really do.

Sam Hitt: Right. I couldn’t have said it better. Samsung for instance, had a massive building on the southern part of the campus, right?

Rob Stott: Cube, right? Is that they still do it in the cube building or something like that, right?

Sam Hitt: Yeah, yeah. Mostly yes, exactly.

Rob Stott: When you come off of the train? Yeah.

Sam Hitt: And you got to take this little hallway that’s maybe a less… Quarter miles of exaggeration, but it feels like, What a mile long!

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: From the next building to the Samsung building. And then you get in there and it’s just all… It’s just two floors of just product and all their latest stuff. And then you go up and that’s where the executives are, when you got to do the interviews and it’s just huge.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: It is huge.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: But yeah, there’s tons of cool stuff. I think part of what makes IFA cool is all these booths have other stuff in them that you’re like, All right, they may not be selling this, but this is a great concept. There was a Formula One car in the Snapdragon booth outside of building six, which was great. The Ferrari, right? So, it’s the classic red Formula One Ferrari. As well as… You’re also hearing from all of these people too, right? So, Samsung did a keynote where they were a part of Qualcomm’s keynote as well as… So, you’re hearing from all these different developments as well as getting a good overlook at the trends, which I think was a really big issue for this year’s IFA, right? Because with all that we’re going through in the economy, right? Between inflation and all these other things, I think it was pertinent to give a state of the union addresses.

Rob Stott: Yeah. Well, you mentioned the e-mobility. Is there any other trends, whether it was from product you saw or the topic of conversation during the keynotes and other education that stood out to you?

Sam Hitt: Yeah. Well, I think one of the big things that me and some of the other editors were talking about, and this is switching gears a bit, was the curved gaming monitors.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: Curved gaming monitors are really hit the market in the last year or two. And they’re developing… This was our first chance to sit down and test some of these things out. And so, that was awesome. It really does feel immersive to a level that you can’t find with regular monitors.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: So, I think that was really exciting. Some of these things are huge too. You’re getting 45 to 50 inch curved gaming monitors, which really are designed to match the curvature of your eye, right? So, I think in that segment, there’s a lot of stuff going on. And I think with gaming too, especially, right? These shows are amazing because it’s an opportunity to get a sense of what the product does for the consumer. Something that unless you’re constantly doing reviews, which I know you’re very tired and take a lot of bandwidth. It’s great to be able to sit down and test out a lot of different products.

Rob Stott: Yeah. You mentioned those monitors. I have a fake setup here where I wish… I’m almost like wish… Trying to manifest the idea of a very immersive experience. I got 227 inches, that’s not bad. They’re right next to each other, but it’s still not that full seamless one screen. You get the whole peripheral.

Sam Hitt: Right.

Rob Stott: I think Samsung has one or is coming out with a 55 inch that is just ungodly how big it looks. A little screen envy if anything, but cool to see that sort of stuff. And that’s where you get to experience it. That was the fun thing. It’s every show too, not just IFA, but every tech show that you get to go to and being able to get hands on with the product and see it and that sort of stuff for sure. So, need to think about.

And that’s one of those things too. We mentioned… Not to transition away from IFA, but the holidays being right around the corner is that a lot of these things you get to see while you’re there. That’ll be trends that consumers are looking out for because that’s the cool thing too for the brands that are there. It’s a consumer show, so they come, they can see what the consumer gravitates towards out of Berlin, a show like that. And with the holidays around the corner, the things that they expect them to gravitate towards in the retail setting. So, what are some of those? Maybe it is some of the similar… The same things that you saw at the show in Berlin. But what are the things you’re keeping an eye on that our CE retailers maybe should get ready to line their shelves with as the holidays are here just a few weeks away?

Sam Hitt: Right. Yeah, I think that’s a great question. First off, I’m going to answer this from a little bit of a roundabout way just because I think that this year is going to be so different, right? So, pretty much everyone that I’ve talked to so far from a lot of different organizations are really pinning on the fact that CE this year is being in hit in a way by inflation in different… Over inventory issues that haven’t been seen in the past necessarily. So, that’s going to change the way I think people handle their holiday shopping, right? And so, there’s a lot of surveys that have come out about people starting their shopping in September.

Rob Stott: Right.

Sam Hitt: They’ve already… I think only if I can remember correctly, 10% of people are playing to start holiday shopping in December. And Black Friday nowadays is not a day, it’s a full month, month and a half, right?

Rob Stott: Yep.

Sam Hitt: So, I think that changes the scope of what deals are going to look like for consumers. And I think this year, especially because of inflation, if people are trying to conserve money in their pockets, they’re going to go after those discounts, right? And I don’t know necessarily what type… Gaming is going to be huge, right? So, in terms of actual product, I think it’s going to be a lot more gaming centric. It’s going to be focused more on things that I think kids want. Things like the PS5, the Xbox that were super hard to get last year, nearly impossible to get, right? That there’s more stocking of this year. And I think that stuff’s going to be just flying off shelves. PC gaming, I’m guessing as well. Those curved monitors, just different devices in the gaming space to me really stand out. I don’t know what you think on the topic. You got your finger just as much on the pulse as I do.

Rob Stott: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting from the independent side because you know the big box where they’re going to have their deep discounts and they got their flyers that go out and everything around this time of year. But we’ve always seen just… At a time when TV gets hit hard, especially this time of year, margins get drastically hit as discounts happen. And especially now, not even with inflation, but the overstocking and having to discount those things even deeper than they might have already been discounted. The ability to make money on a TV sale is very difficult. But not for the independent, they typically have… Our data shows that they can weather that storm from the tier one type TVs. The type of customer that’s coming into an independent store, they aren’t necessarily looking for that deeply discounted TV. Maybe they want a little bit of a deal, but they’re looking for more so the technology and they care about the product and want it to have… Want to have a true retail experience, I’d say, if you will, or more of the…

They’re looking for that better product and not just the $200 65 inch that they might be able to swipe before the next person. So, the independents, I think. Not that they’re sheltered from the challenges that the economy and inflation are creating, but they do it better than the rest of the industry for sure. So, I think that’ll always be an area where they do well and perform well and perhaps experience a little bit of a better situation than the rest of the retail industry. But at least from what we’re seeing, they do it well.

Sam Hitt: Yeah. No, absolutely. I think it’s all about the market segment you’re targeting.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: It-

Rob Stott: Just different customer.

Sam Hitt: Different customer, different outlook, right? And independent retailers know their niche in the market. They’re not trying to compete with these huge discounts, these Amazon type slashes in price. So, I think it’s just going to change the dynamic of what people are looking for. It’s just, if people are looking for that lower quality product, right?

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: They’re going to go and grab maybe a year old TV from Amazon that’s half off because they’re trying to-

Rob Stott: I’ve never heard a better example than… I think it was on one of these podcasts too, our VP of CE, Mr. Lee McDonald, talking about how… If you want to… Just the way to think about how the type of shopper is very different from someone coming into an independent store versus the local big box. An independent isn’t looking for someone that they happen to be buying their milk and eggs right next to their TVs, that’s… You just walking by in that type of setting. And if something catches your eye, it catches your eye. When you’re in an independent store, that person’s there to shop. And it’s not just for the TV or it’s not because they happen to be walking by it while they’re on the way to get some deli meat and cheese.

They’re there to accomplish something, to upgrade the experience in their home. To not just by a TV, but all the things that go with it to create that immersive home theater entertainment experience. So, you got to treat them differently, obviously. And you’re set up… If they’re in your store, you’re set up to maybe accomplish something that includes a sale that is more than just that $200 TV. So, they have a little bit of a wider open budget if they’re in there with you, as opposed to what you might see down the street at that other retailer.

Sam Hitt: Yeah. No, absolutely. I think that’s a good point. Well said, by the way. It’s a different dynamic, right? It’s that simple. It’s different. If you’re going to an independent retailer, you’re likely trying to get the… Like you said, the experience, right? It’s the mom and pop experience. It’s getting run through the different type of products, the different options, knowing that people aren’t just after your money, it’s more about the experience itself.

Rob Stott: Right.

Sam Hitt: And I think that’s an important difference, especially when you’re looking at the type of products that are being carried. I know… For example, at Nationwide, when we were at Prime Time in August, the types of products that are down there, there’s some very high quality luxury stuff down there that’s not just going to be bought on a whim, right?

Rob Stott: Right. Yeah.

Sam Hitt: It’s something that needs to be explained, needs to be run through and there needs to be a quality decision making process behind it, especially in the appliance sector.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: And so, I think it’ll be the appliance sector more than anything, right? More than TVs even, right? Because you go into a store, you see an AK TV, you’re like, All right, this is amazing.

Rob Stott: Sells itself.

Sam Hitt: Yeah, right. It sells itself. The UST, the ultra short throw projectors sell themselves, stuff like that. But the appliances, I think are really where independent retailers are going to jump.

Rob Stott: Yeah. Just, again, not to hammer home the type of customer, but the role of the retailer too in that is important as well. Because someone that is looking for that product, whether it is the appliance, it is the TV, the surround sound system, the audio file level, speakers, things like that, they don’t… They’re coming to you for info, they’re coming to you. They might know… They’ve done research, they know the product, they have an idea, maybe they know exactly what they want, but they just need a little bit of pushing or massaging from the retail sales associate. They’re not going to get that at the same spot where they’re buying their socks and underwear, that’s just not… That person doesn’t have the same level of knowledge as your sales associates. So, it’s just… They expect… Maybe it puts a little extra pressure on you too, because they’re coming to you for that knowledge and for that expertise. And you have to meet them where they want you to be, so that their expectations are met before they decide that, Yeah, this is where I’m going to spend that… Spend my hard earned dollars.

Sam Hitt: Right. Well, another interesting… I don’t know why I thought of this when we’re talking about the appliance sector. But I think another interesting thing is that, right? It’s such an interesting market segment because… And my mind’s just turning to XR and different immersive experiences in retail. You can do this… There’s apps now where you can take different furniture items and place it, you can map it out and see what it’s going to look like in a room, right? And you can do that essentially with appliances, right? You can go online, you can put them in a different spot in a room. But it really doesn’t even come close to accomplishing what needs to… Appliance shopping is very much an in-store experience. No matter how much technology we put in here, no matter how many different types of online retail aids we have, it’s going to need to be something that seen in store, how it works, the different features. It’s very much different with-

Rob Stott: You want to touch the knobs, you want to see the sight lines, things like that, how it looks in a setting, there is just-

Sam Hitt: Right.

Rob Stott: We’re getting very down into a rabbit hole here, but we’re seeing things like the Metaverse and everything that’s brought about the possibilities of how that influences retail. And I’m like, Oh, that’s cool. Ready Player One style, get in there and walk around a mall or something like that, what that retail experience is like. But it’s never going to compete with being there physically in person. And yes, there might be gloves with sensors that you can feel like you’re touching something, but it’s not the real thing.

Sam Hitt: Right.

Rob Stott: My eyes, you can’t deceive these things. I know what I’m seeing. I know that I need to see it. And I’d argue that we’re on the younger age of where most of the people that shop at these stores are. And to still hear us talk about it in that way, in person still matters to us, I think that says something too to the staying power of this brick and mortar space.

Sam Hitt: Right. Well, I think stuff like Metaverse is going to be a useful tool for retail, but I don’t think it’s going to be a replacement.

Rob Stott: No, and that’s the thing.

Sam Hitt: Yeah, that’s the key of it is, right? It’s going to be… And I’ve looked a lot at different resale outlets trying to get into the Metaverse, especially brands, right? It’s really big with brands, trying to more as an advertise. At the moment, especially, it’s more of an advertisement tactic than it is a way to sell product. And I think it’s one of those things that’s growing in terms of an ad… As a means for advertisement, right? But it also is going to require a mass adoption of the Metaverse by the American populace in order to really get to the point that-

Rob Stott: That’s the nail that you hit on the head. Because I can remember articles that I wrote for that publication over there that’s in your hands right now about the total… I loved the AR, the VR, XR, that technology is so cool, but it’s always been light years ahead of where the consumer is. It’s for the people at the shows that you’re going to, it’s for the IFA crowd, it’s for the CES crowd, it’s for all of the other random events throughout the… The Mobile World Congress crowd, that’s who it’s for.

There’s not been this major mass adoption of that technology to the point where, like it’s the new iPhone that you need to have it. It’s just… Especially this now, the Quest Pro that launches and it’s got the $1500, they’re pricing the normal consumer out of that sort of stuff. And it’s making it hard to understand the… Not the viability because I think it’ll always be there, especially in the gaming world, that sort of stuff has all kinds of application in that space. But to the normal consumer, why do I need virtual reality? That’s the thing that hasn’t been able to be explained yet.

Sam Hitt: Absolutely. Yeah, I think it’s same deal. So, it’s niche versus… It’s need versus want.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: Right? It’s something that’s cool, it’s something that’s intriguing, but it’s not necessarily something that you need to use in your daily life to survive, right? It’s not necessarily providing a…

Rob Stott: It’s an escape if anything.

Sam Hitt: Yea, absolutely.

Rob Stott: Instead of a need, it’s like, I want get away from this world that I’m living right now. Let me strap on my virtual reality headset and jump into the Metaverse. Which also from what I understand is having its own issues. So…

Sam Hitt: Well, the cool thing… The one really cool use case I see coming with Metaverse though, is the mix between hybrid work, right?

Rob Stott: Yeah. Yeah.

Sam Hitt: It’s how to do more immersive conference calls, just talking with people, being face to face, I guess… Not being face to face, but being more face to face than you wouldn’t necessarily be able to be otherwise, right?

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: If you’re talking to someone in LA and you’re in New York, right? It’s going to be a whole different ballgame. So-

Rob Stott: But still… It’d be cool… Call back to the gloves that I mentioned being able to have haptic feedback. If you could squeeze someone’s hand really hard virtually, like they could feel it through the glove, we got to get to that point, that’s what I need to see. The firm Metaverse handshake.

Sam Hitt: I think we’re probably maybe a decade away from that.

Rob Stott: A little bit. A little bit.

Sam Hitt: Yeah, it’s a cool concept. But that’s the thing, right? These shows, like IFA and CES, the whole point of them is to show the cutting edge. Obviously, there’s a lot of products there that are currently major sellers, right? And they’re really hitting the consumer based wants and needs. However, there’s also a lot of stuff there that companies bring just to be like, they’re going to show this is the future, this is the technology we can accomplish, right? And that’s part of the mystique of these events and what makes them cool, especially to us as…

Rob Stott: Yeah, absolutely. The concepts, right? You see it… I think the concept car was maybe the first thing that I think of growing up and hearing about, futuristic type product that shows… And then diving into worlds, like CES and IFA where concept product comes out and it’s maybe mixing the two. You get the idea of the indie cars that they do off at the Vegas track that are autonomous, that they’re racing around. So, stuff that you see like that. So, very much the breeding grounds for future technology and what might be possible in the world down the road. So…

Sam Hitt: I think it’s cool. So, part of what I would say about it is very… Getting into mobility and autonomous vehicles and e-mobility in term… Electric cars. I think they’re going to provide an interesting opportunity for retailers in carrying a bunch of different gadgets and accessories that are maybe be unique for different cars, different brands, and that whole ecosystem once it fully flushes out and develops over the next 10 years, which it undoubtedly will with what’s being…

It’s really being pushed by the Biden administration right now and states are moving to develop and create infrastructure for them.

Rob Stott: Right.

Sam Hitt: So, I think it’s going to be a really interesting dynamic to see how that develops for retailers. Not only in the sense of like, you can put charters outside of your stores to draw trafficking, because people are going to be there for 20 minutes charging their cars, but also what other gadgets and accessories… Because they’re interesting EVs in the sense that they’re more tech related car… You’re not going to buy a gadget for your Honda, right? Or your Porsche or whatever. But for your Tesla, maybe there’s something you want to soup it up with and there’s… It’s more, I think tech-

Rob Stott: It’s things that we can’t even think of right now.

Sam Hitt: Exactly, that’s what I think.

Rob Stott: That’s cool about it. I know exactly where you’re heading and it’s like, there’s a world of tech accessories and gadgets that haven’t yet even been thought of because it’s a market that… It’s in its infancy.

Sam Hitt: Right.

Rob Stott: So, I wouldn’t even say in its infancy because it hasn’t even really been born yet. There’s things out there, there are cars out there that are doing this, but we’re not really seeing truly autonomous vehicles out there. And the ones that are, aren’t super successful yet. They’re getting there and they’re improving, but it’s still a category that is years away from maturing.

Sam Hitt: Yeah, absolutely.

Rob Stott: So, the idea that we could have product that, like you said, upgrades that in car experience or how the car performs, that sort of stuff, that is yet to even be a twinkle in some tech purveyor eyes out there. So…

Sam Hitt: Right. Yeah. And it’s going to be super interesting. Once we get through these next two-three years, right? Through this chip shortage and we get to the point where some of these EV manufacturers that aren’t named Tesla, start figuring out production, right?

Rob Stott: Yep.

Sam Hitt: They’re going to do it, right?

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: There’s going to be companies out there that are going to be able to mass produce EVs to compete with Tesla. And I think that’s going to completely change the landscape of EVs because it’s going to require a whole different set of infrastructure. So, I just think it’s going to be interesting to see how the industry develops. And I think it’s just going to be a major opportunity for everyone in the space really to hop on board, especially independent retailers.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Sam Hitt: So, I think it’s going to be another one of those niche markets. So, that’s really high tech. And it’s going to need a lot of… It’s not going to be something you’re buying next to your eggs and your bread.

Rob Stott: All right, maybe a whole new class of retailer develops around this.

Sam Hitt: Right.

Rob Stott: There’s some out there. Obviously, I think I did it even and unboxed it. A car audio retailer somewhere down in Delaware or something like that, that souped us up with some in-car audio and things like that. But maybe a space for them there, but could be a whole new style of retail experience that crops up because of this. But…

Sam Hitt: Yeah, absolutely. I think the possibilities are endless.

Rob Stott: It’s nuts, man. Well, stuff we could save for a whole nother podcast. Because this was a lot of fun and clearly, we went down paths that I didn’t even think we were going to go down. So, this was really cool to do. And had fun diving into it with you. So, we’ll make sure to have you on again, so that we can explore the tech space a little more and see what’s new and trending.

Sam Hitt: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, that’d be great. So much going on. So much to talk about as we’re going to wrap up.

Rob Stott: And if you’re listening, be sure… You can head to dealerscope.com. We’ll throw all those links and everything down in the description and under the video version of this if you’re watching. So, to get all the latest news, info, sign up for their newsletters, there are many of them, I know. And the magazine as well, they keep you guys busy, so… I took up too much of your time. You got to get back to writing, so that those pages are filled.

Sam Hitt: Busy season right now.

Rob Stott: It is. Awesome. Well, Sam, appreciate it. And we’ll catch up again soon.

Sam Hitt: Thank you.

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