How has Best Buy Survived in an Ecommerce Marketplace?

Just a couple of years ago, Best BuyBest Buy seemed to be part of a dying breed of big-box retailers. With online giants like Amazon, brick-and-mortar stores seemed irrelevant. The company’s stock dropped 28 percent in January of 2014, leading to speculation that the chain would likely soon start closing stores.

Fast forward to the 2015 holiday season. Best Buy is declared one of the top three early winners of the shopping season, thanks in part to an innovative Omnichannel approach to customer service. Here are a few things the company got right this holiday season.

Pre-Season Buzz

Even before the season began, Best Buy was seeing positive results from its decision to allow installment billing for its mobile devices, as well as a new mobile site. The company spent 2015 ensuring its sales staff had the expertise necessary to answer customer questions and boosting its multi-channel approach to sales. This included ship-from-store capabilities that increased turnaround time for online orders and improvements to in-store pickup. These preparations ensured that once Black Friday arrived, Best Buy was ready to take on the competition.

Black Friday Deals

Today’s customers are savvier than ever when it comes to prices. Long before Black Friday shopping kicks off, customers are researching deals and comparing prices on the gifts they want to buy. Even once in the store, customers use price-comparison apps to make sure they’re getting the best deals. To win shoppers this year, the company offered deep discounts on Chromebooks, HDTVs, iPads, Amazon Fire tablets, and MacBooks, among other products. The company also kept chaos at bay by letting shoppers into the store in groups of 15-20 every five minutes.

Last-Minute Wins

Best Buy joined many other big-box retailers in offering last-minute deals on popular gifts, including TVs, Xbox One consoles, and the Apple Watch. The deals were extended to its online store, as well, and local stores extended their hours in the final shopping day to 11 p.m. To make sure procrastinators weren’t deterred from shopping online, Best Buy added free two-day shipping for thousands of its online items.

With its combination of technical support and low prices, Best Buy is continuing to win customers, both online and in its stores. As long as the company continues to put customers first, it will remain competitive with the most successful retailers, but online and off. With tools like PriceManager in place to keep customers constantly informed of prices, even big-box retailers are feeling the pressure to make sure their costs are the best, beating both online and local competitors.

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