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I’ve been following the business for a while, Best Buy has been in somewhat of a slump in the past few years with cheaper prices on the internet and all. It’s no surprise, when I have personally walked into the store searching for something (a phone charger) only to see that the one I needed was 30 bucks, then searched for a similar product on my phone, only to find I could have it delivered for free for less than 15 bucks. Now personally I love the business. I think it is very aesthetically pleasing, the Blue coloring and perfectly tilted yellow price tag logo. Your associates are often very knowledgeable, and when I walk into one of your stores it is always very neat and seems very “futuristic.”
However let’s get back on topic. You guys are having problems, due to lower prices on the internet and the fact that you guys basically ARE an enormous showroom. People walk in, check out the great electronics you have, and go home to make an order on a website with another company.
My idea to help turn around your business? Rather than “matching competitor prices even those online” which will still potentially lead to your downfall simply due to the fact you guys probably have much higher overhead than an online dealer, why don’t you change the focus of your business?
By changing focus I don’t mean change what you guys sell, but change how you guys do it. Keep the stores, but try to build better relationships with customers. I’m talking about find technically savvy, salesmen who know how to design the interior of a house. Perhaps you guys could team up with a furniture company, buy them out, and change your goals. Instead of just selling a television set, have someone personally go to a potential customers home, whether it be free of charge or at a fee, and help design a very aesthetically pleasing room. Even if you don’t hire people, perhaps simply teaming up with city furniture, to sell not only an entire living room, you offer a television with an xbox and sound system that is aesthetically suited to their home furniture.
That is the one thing the internet can not offer, human interaction, and advice on what can be aesthetically pleasing for a home. Now here are a few problems I can predict. First you have to hire people with even more skills, not just someone who knows computers or cameras, but someone who also knows how to organize a house or room. This could potentially cost more money with turnover and all. Second, you guys will have to expand your market to furniture, and in doing so, you may have more issues, but if you team up, their will be someone to take care of the other aspects of the business.
Have a team of people ready to enter peoples homes, who can analyze the room size, space capabilities and find the best product that you can have and set it up in their living room, bedroom, and maybe even bathrooms. You need good salespeople too, because then the problem lies with, what if my salesmen goes, and they look online to find a better price? Well it is possible for a good salesmen to close the deal, regardless of “prices” as long as it’s within somewhat of a fair price range.
So there it is Monsieur Hubert Joly. The idea that could potentially change the face of Best Buy forever.
Save space in the store, make it easy for customers or employees to find a CD or DVD, AND make it fun in the process. Red Box already has the basic functionality down, lets put a Best Buy spin on it and make it our own. If we make it fun enough, it might increase overall sales.
I'm picturing a touch screen interface in front of a telephone-booth style housing, the device would be stocked with DVDs and CDs. A user would then search for the DVD/CD he wants, and quickly, the device would check to see if it's housed internally. If it is in stock, it pops out vending machine style. Purchases would still happen at the front lanes.
As mentioned earlier, since everything is housed in the device, it'll clear up a lot of floor space. Also, since it's small, you could put it pretty much anywhere in the store. (Maybe in low traffic areas to drive traffic to those areas)
I travel by plane for Christmas, like many others, so I often buy gifts online and have the retailer ship them directly to my destination. I wanted to buy my parents a plasma tv for Christmas at bestbuy.com and take advantage of a great sale price this week. I wanted to pick it up at the local store when I arrived in their town on the 23rd to preserve the surprise (it's hard to disguise the contents of a 46 in Samsung box). However, Best Buy will only hold items for 8 days before the order automatically cancels if it hasn't been picked up. According to both the store and the reps on the Customer Service #, there's no way to override this and allow the store to hold the item longer....the order will just cancel and I will need to repurchase it and likely not at the sale price.
I understand the need for a time limit to pick up an item, however, it should be at least 14 days, like other major retailers. Also, any timeframe should be extended during the holidays when I am sure situations like mine are much more common.
I found another retailer that not only matched bestbuy.com's price, but is holding the item until Dec 24th for pickup. I was perfectly happy to buy from Bestbuy until they made it just too hard with an overly rigid policy that their associates are not empowered to change.
Best Buy needs to maintain a data vault for every SKU of PC that they sell containing the ISOs for the recovery disks. Geek Squad agents should be able to search by Make/Model or SKU to find the recovery disk ISOs to be able to restore a customer's PC.
Currently, turn time is one of our measuring sticks. On a unit where the customer has to order the recovery disks from the manufacturer, the turn time could easily reach 10-14 days or more. If we sell something, we need to reach an agreement with the manufacturer to be able to download those ISOs free of charge. I'm not talking about product keys so it wouldn't be in violation of anything Microsoft. It only makes sense if you want to keep turn time down, quality of repair up, and customers happy.
Smaller Neighbor hood stores with product centered around the local market, with employees who can get to know their customers persoanlly. Smaller stocked amounts but with product geared to that specific market. One store geared to media, another to Mobile electronics, another to TV Stereo, another to Car audio and so on. Each contributing to the company over all but not dependent on the performance of the others.
When Best Buy offers Deals of the Day, which normally is a deal for it is priced way lower than what it normally is, should the product be available? Why should a customer have to wait 5-7 days on a product that could easily be carried in the store? Product shouldnt be offered as a deal if the customer is going to have to wait for it. Offer deals on products that are ACTUALLY available, and if not be willing to offer rainchecks every once and a while, ecspecially to MyBestBuy members who are loyal shoppers.
I've noticed that they recently revamped the Mac Accessory section in my local store and it looks great! There's a lot of new products, but I'm also noticing a lot of redundnacy. I understand in some instances (like with hard drives) redunancy creates value, as it offers the same product at different price points; However, overall Best Buy could do a better job on the accessories they pick for Macs; Here's some suggestions:
(1) Rain mStand / Rain mTower / Just Mobile AluRack ; If you are using your MacBook on it's on, it allows you to effectively "dock" you Mac while at the desk and use it at an angle [ergonomically] similar to that of an Apple desktop; If using your MacBook with a display the mTower allows you to stand the MacBook up side-ways effectively turning it into a "tower."
(2) Macessity Laptuck Pro; A stand for the Thunderbolt Display with integrated USB 3.0 hub and space below for Apple keyboard - great for the smaller home [office] workspace.
(3) KB Covers - Keyboard Covers
(4) HDMI to VGA Cable; would allow Apple TV to be connected in business conference rooms and/or classrooms where iPad adoption rates are rapidly increasing.
(5) Newer, more stylish sleeves for all MacBook sizes ("11, 13", 15") - may I suggest STM Bags Grip for MacBook, Hard Candy Cases Hard Shell Case, Moshi Codex MacBook Case, Tucano Stand Up Sleeve Cargo and/or Mujjo Sleeve and/or SwitchEasy Thins (Magnetic Closure)
(6) Belkin YourType Bluetooth Wireless Keypad; Bluetooth 10-Key add-on for Apple Notebooks/Desktops - great for home office, business, and educators a-like.
(8) RadTech ScreenSavrz iMac Screen Cover
(9) Henge Docks Horizontal Docking Station
(10) Satechi Premium 4 Port Aluminum USB Hub
Customer reviews are a great resource for everyday people to help make informed decisions. For this to take place, we must have informed reviews from people that actually purchased the item.
For instance, I was looking at upgrading my MacBook to the new Crystalwell model and the only review on it (no joke) is as follows:
Best Buy is currently running $100 off open box iPhones and it is prominently displayed at the top of Best Buy but there's no way to check nearby stores for inventory without calling or stopping by (in which case, you could call but it's kind of pointless because they can't hold items for you so it's completely possible for what you were looking for to be sold by the time you make it to the store, having had this happen before in the past on an open-box iPad). It would really help to get customers into the store to be able to visually see what models you have and the estimated quantity (I've noticed on computers at least, it now shows quantity available so this would be a nice added touch). In addition, if store's are sitting on heavy quantities, Best Buy could also try running an Elite/Elite Plus members bonus worth 3x bonus points on purchase. Like the gift card, this could only be used at Best Buy so this is only a win as it helps rid open box inventory and greatly increases the chances that customers will add-on accessories, protection plans, etc. In my experience, I have seen people achieve Elite/Elite plus status in a single night because they go spending crazy just because they know they're getting triple points on the transaction.
Best Buy is stuck, they are trying to do to0 many things. They need to simplify. They have what it takes to beat amazon, new egg, and other online retailers but they are using them incorrectly. There brick and mortar stores need to become shipping warehouse that allow for customers to still come look around. Shipping should be near free for all customers with a best buy within 30 miles. You could use local hot shots or train current employees. Set up self-checkouts for people buying media and quick buys. Focus on hiring persons with a background similar to that of geek squad. Focus on "wal-mart" business plan, mark all products at the minimum mark up for a profit, plan on selling more at a lower price, have a better social media and viral plan. People are going to miss you when you’re gone; you need to remind them why. Make all of your inventories available (and updated daily) on places like google shopping and your own website. Bundle. Make sure your weekly sales are making it on sites like slickdeals.
I love shopping at your store. But it seems when I have a little bit of extra money to spend, the items I want are not readily available in your store and when I want to be able to pick up in the store, it says Pickup in 7 to 10 days. I don't have that many days to wait. Today I was particularly interested in a surge protector for my dining table area because my office work space is expanding and I noticed that you had a great price on Surge Protectors from Dynex. But while the price was cheap the accessibility to the product was not. So either I'd had to wait 7 - 10 days , or pay a shipping charge plus tax which would make a cheap item even more expensive, or as a last ditch effort which I'd really hate to do, go to another store and purchase a like item at a comparable price. Find a way to fix this because Best Buy is the closest electronics super store to my area and while there is another one that has the name of a food on a fast food menu, it's too dangerous traffic wise to travel to that store and I only do as a last resort.
It would be great if there were an option to filter the view of products that were in stock at the local store(s) selected by the customer. That way, we wouldn't have to wade through pages and pages of product links in order to find out if you have in stock the product(s) we want at our local store.
Sometimes, (and by sometimes I mean most times) I would like to get a product that same day by just looking online at your website and finding what's available at my local store. Otherwise, what is the advantage of buying from you as opposed to one of the many other online retailers and to add to the mix, I wouldn't have to pay sales tax if I bought from an online retailer from out-of-state. If I have to have Best Buy ship the product I desire anyway, why not buy it somewhere else and save a little money.
There are over 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales. Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s. The 600,000 plus franchised small businesses in the U.S. account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people.
Best Buy is missing out on a very large opportunity to cater to this crowd. If a small business customer comes into Best Buy today, the only point of sale solution that is offered in-store is the Square reader or Square Stand. If a customer does not already own an older iPad the Square Stand is useless as it only operates with an embedded 30-pin connector.
The solution is for Best Buy to become a Lightspeed POS reseller. Best Buy would be able to demo how a small business customer could use a Mac and/or an iPad to run their retail store. If you have ever priced out an actual point of sale system they are incredibly expensive (typically in excess of $4,000 each for a full setup with computer, cash drawer, barcode scanner, etc.) and Lightspeed allows customers to create a feature-rich, scalable point of sale solution for as low as $300/mo for TWO full iPad POS terminals with barcode scanners, thermal receipt printer, cash drawer, credit card attachment and all. Not to mention customers could use a Mac mini ($599 or less) as a back office machine to be able to pull sales reports, manage employees or inventory, etc. (this could also be done from another iPad to keep expenses down).
Outside of having an in-store demo, it would be beneficial for Best Buy to have knowledgable people around how all of this operates and how to set it up and I think this would present an opportunity for Geek Squad services as most small business retail owners have a lot of on their plate and tend to just care about the solution working more than the actual setup and installation process. Just a thought.
Back in January, Apple announced a "SIM-free" unlocked model that their retail stores would be the sole, exclusive carrier of. I think there's a large opportunity (especially in the southern U.S. markets) for Best Buy to sell Verizon iPhones without a contract. Verizon iPhones are shipped unlocked and can be used in countries where carriers use GSM-based SIM cards. At present, most Best Buy stores will refuse to sell iPhones without a contract or comparable NEXT, Edge, EasyPay plan because the stores don't profit as much on the back-end; However, I'd be willing to bet that Best Buy is leaving a lot of money on the table in terms of revenue from customers that would otherwise shop at Apple to get this device. Another plus for Best Buy is that Best Buy easily outnumbers the total number of Apple Stores by at least 3x the volume. If you put this in markets where there are no Apple stores, you fend off online sales of this model and redirect those customers into your stores (especially if you take into consideration that on a large purchase like this you get rewards at Best Buy whereas at Apple you don't).
as the subject says, would be cool to have a Best Buy GeekSquad/Black Tie website to check account/file claim etc =)
This issue involves the new 12" Apple MacBooks in particular. These computers are impossible to find and get and a lot of the DCs have them in stock but they are not shipping them to stores. I would completely understand this mentality if they were orderable thru OMS but OMS is still turned off on these. This means the only other way to get these is to find another brick & mortar location that has them in stock and initiate a physical transfer. The common problems I run into here are (1) stores don't answer the phone at all or answer and place you on extended holds, (2) stores answer the phone and take forever to locate the product and/or (3) stores find the product citing that it's their only 1 in stock and they refuse to sell it stating that their manager or supervisor is denying the transfer request.
So in other words, they would rather WALK a sell that is going thru (because it's not at their location) than take care of a customer and create a positive shopping experience and what's really silly to me is most of the time the store's aren't selling this item as referenced thru their weekly sell-thru. There should be a system in place, similar to OMS or ExpressLane that's strictly for store to store transfers that makes it easy to initate a transfer and if that item is physically not being sold at the time the transfer is created, the store MUST transfer it out (provided its to take care of a customer and not just to sit on a shelf in a new location) and it should integrate with Campus Ship to make it easier to flow thru this process and also CC all the leaders in the store that the transfer is coming from/going to with the customer information and tracking information.
I know in this example I'm talking about MacBooks, but I've seen this issue in other departments too, like in Home Theater on popular 4K models, etc. etc.
Sometimes for example I am looking to purchase a computer mouse. The stores near me may only offer 3 different computer mice in the brick and mortar store but dozens online. I don’t want to order online but pick it up in store after work. With the current site I am forced to first find the mice I like then click each one individually to see if the item is available in one of the stores near me.
So the filter option would allow the user to enter a zip code and mile range to only show products in the category or search where an item is available.
All the data needed is already in your databases as the site can do it but only with the user manually clicking each item. So only the new feature code would need to be created without any more data logistics.
I think it would be advantageous for Best Buy to really review Protection/Replacement Plan policies and how they work with their employees. Most employees realize they're tracked on attachment and will say just about anything to attach one of these because, let's be honest - they probably won't be there in 2, 3 or 4 years (if/when) the product breaks down with the turn-over in retail, but for today, they look like a rock star.
When I was purchasing a vaccum last night, I was offered a plan on the vaccum. I specifically asked the employee - "well this model is on clearance, so do they give me my money back if something were to go wrong?" And she said "Oh yes, we'd give you comparable but not to exceed what you paid or issue a store credit for what you paid tonight." I ALWAYS ask for protection plan terms and conditions BEFORE I commit to purchasing one and upon reading it that's not how the plan works. It states you get FAIR MARKET VALUE. Simply put, I get whatever Best Buy deems the value on my vaccum is in 2-4 years, which let's be honest - IT'S A VACCUM.
Had I had an issue with the vaccum and taken it back to the store, this would've caused a huge dispute (and I get the feeling this probably wouldn't be the first time if you have employees selling protection plans that they don't properly understand the terms and conditions on). As employees of Best Buy, they represent the company and you do acquire a bit of responsibiltiy and liability for what they are telling people to sell these plans so please take time and have managers quiz them, etc. to make sure they understand how they work.
I went to two Best Buy locations looking for an item last night and I needed to print a coupon from online. Both stores only had about 2 kiosks and in both cases there were issues with both. At one location, the screen was basically going out so you could only very faintly see things on the display. The only other kiosk I was able to locate in the store the printer had random letters and numbers on it and was flashing. At the second location, the only kisok I was able to locate was in the back and the printer was very low on the toner so it only printed the top half of the page. So to summarize, it was incredibly difficult to find customer kiosks in the store. In one case one was on the end of an aisle and in the other it was in the far back corner of the store in the car installation area. In both cases, the kiosks were not cusotmer-ready.
The actionables I conclude from this are (1) Customer kiosks should be easier to locate. Clear signage or maybe better (more central) re-locating in the store could fix this. (2) There should be a schedueled maintenance program on these. At a set interval, a technician is dispatched out to repair/replace defects and toner is also mailed specifically for these units on a set interval as well.