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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.
I would love to see Best Buy take on a more proactive approach to encouraging people to recycle used ink & toner. I understand that, as of now, Best Buy currently does offer a recycling program, but I would love to see them roll it into their rewards program to really encourage people to take advantage of it. This could implemented in a few different ways:
(1) Offer a coupon for an extra 5% off ink and toner for recycling. This would be the easiest to implement because if one is recycling ink or toner one would most likely be looking to purchase replacements, so for Best Buy this would offer the quickest ROI on this type of program.
(2) Offer 250 points for each toner or 50 points for each ink cartridge. This is based on the fact that ink cartridges need to be replaced quite a bit more frequently than toners and in most cases, people are replacing sets of 2 or 4 on ink cartridges, depending on if the machine is a tri-color or individual ink model. At the end of the day, every toner or 5th ink cartridge would equate to a $5 rewards certificate, which for most inks or toners is a very small discount, but it's still something to encourage people to do the right thing when it comes to disposing of used ink/toner.
Lastly, the largest benefit to either method you decided to implement would be that you would lock the customer into buying ink/toner from Best Buy and handily pull customers from office store competitors.
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).
I think there's an opportunity for Best Buy to both create value for it's Elite+ members AND increase attachments on it's protection plans on laptops if it were to offer Elite+ members of it's rewards programs that purchase laptops over $999 with Total Assurance plans a loaner laptop in the event that something were to go wrong with their computer that would require it to be checked in over a 24-hour period. The program would NOT have an additional cost, you'd just have to meet the criteria.
The hows and whys:
(1) The person would need to be Elite+ (spends over $3500 in a calendar year. These are your customers that have proven themselves "loyal" to Best Buy and are less likely to try to defraud or abuse the system.
(2) The customer must have purchased a computer $999 and up with Total Assurance. This would mean the cusotmer spent at least $1200 on the computer purchase alone which would warrant the argument for a loaner in the first place. Someone spending that much on a computer probably can't afford downtime. Average turn around times for repairs are usually WEEKS not days for computers.
(3) You could require a credit card hold for the amount of the loaner computer to cover any possible "incidents" - similar to what a hotel does when they loan you a room. The loaner computers can be generated out of open box computers versus reselling or sending them back to the manufacturer. You don't have to have a ton of but maybe keep half a dozen of each model on hand and make them available on a first come first serve basis. Like a car dealership, you're not expecting 4 dozen defective same models in a day, but you're pacing yourself for the rainy days and the loaners are only out until the computer returns from service in which the customer has 24-48 hours to return the loaner or pay a per day rental fee (extra revenue for Best Buy and encouragement to return these on-time to the benefit of other customers). These loaner computers could be previous generation models (i.e. Surface Pro 2, Lenovo Yoga 2, 2014 MacBooks, etc.). In most cases, if you're using a protection plan your computer is 1-3 years older anyway. The unique situation that came out of this for me at Fry's is the loaner computer was faster than MY computer. The more time I spent with it, the more I realized I've had plenty of issues with my machine (it had been in for service for over-heating 3 tiems) and this new ones faster, lighter, better battery and I'd be hard pressed to hear the fan ever come on (veruss mine which could give your leg a farmer's tan with how hot it got) etc. etc. and all of a sudden I went from waiting for my computer to come back from service to considering a new one (DEFINITELY a win).
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.
The Best Buy price match guarantee should be updated to include products shipped from and sold by Mac Mall and Adorama. Both Mac Mall and Adorama have aggresssive prices on Apple computers and accessories. Adorama has a sales alliance with Amazon.com in a deal to broaden Amazon's selection of camera products and accessories and both are two growing segments of Best Buy's business (considering the recent influx in installs of new Apple and Camera Experience Shops in local area stores).
I try to avoid digital downloads of games/software. In large part becuase sometimes the servers are very slow. It can take a very long time. Sometimes the download was corrupt and it goes belly up after a couple hours etc...
I have a good internet connection, but sometimes I simply takes a long time from a lot of factors. I can download a 5 GB game directly to my Xbox in less than 30 minutes direclty from MS. Cannot do that when downloading from BB or GameStop.
What I would suggest is that Best Buy stores have a Digital Download Kiosk.
Customers can buy a game in the store and download it directly to a USB Drive or an SD card. Along with the intall files it also sends a .txt file containing the Activation Code, which is also printed on the receipt and or sent in an email.
This could have other benefits such as extra sales of large USB Drive and SD cards. Point of Purchase as it were.
Customers could have a hard copy back up of their software
A kiosk could be linked to Best Buys Servers via a T3 or faster for very fast transfers
A kiosk could be loaded up with thousands of titles for download.
Best Buy could see increased sales of older games without taking up shelf space.
A Customer could purchase a number of games on line and then come into the store and get them all at once.
Now I don't know if you can install a game to PS or Xbox from a jump drive. If you cannot then this would diminish the value.
I have noticed that 18-Month Financing is no longer an option for most purchases nearing $1000 or more. From what I remember from last month or so when I used financing, I was offered 18 months as a pay off time. Best Buy, get yourself together because you are ruining your customer base! The business model that you and your competitors do is "follow one another and not be unique!" I have written about No Points for Financing and now I'm writing about this. You need to be different from your competitors instead of going with the flow!
For exmaple, I purchased a camera and used financing to pay it off, and was offered 18 months to finance. The same camera now is only offered 12 month financing. When did this occur? I can guarantee that none of your frequent and tiered customers weren't notified of this change just like the No Points with Financing. You should be notifying customers of all your changes such as this to avoid the complaints and in-store arguments with managers.
Bring back 18 Month financing for purchases over your original thresholds!
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.
I've noticed that stores no longer carry 64GB and 128GB Cellular iPad or iPad mini models; I think this is an unfortunate mistake on Best Buy's part to make these items online-only as you're going to be walking a lot of business to mobile stores like AT&T, Verizon & Sprint and Apple Retail locations where they co-exist in areas around your stores. What creates a demand for these items is that fact that iPad storage cannot be expanded. There's no incentive for a customer to wait 3-5 days for shipping when in most cases they can go to an Apple retail store or carrier store and get the item for the exact same price but on the same day. I would love to think there's got to be a better way to execute this strategy or at least offer expedited shipping to decrease wait times for products. After all, that's the whole reason people shop in-store.
I am suggesting that somehow Best Buy make it so if Best Buy is out of a certain keycode for a digital download ( game etc ) then that product should be listed as "Unavailable"| or "Out of Stock". From personal experience, I have waited OVER A WEEK for a keycode from a "vendor" As of yet, I have not received this keycode so that tells me right there that the system is flawed.
What REALLY confuses me is that the vendor is Activision. I called up Activision and they make out like they send Best Buy codes on a daily basis so they don't understand why there would be any issues on my part.
So yeah that's my suggestion get your system right!
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
Hello, the following lines are for a school assignment, but I believe they have relevance, so here they are. Our instructions were to pick a relevant US company and write the assignment in the first person, as if we worked for the company.
Best Buy: A Proposal for Improvement
Sound of Music, which would later turn into Best Buy (BB) was founded in 1966 as a record store. As available technologies and customer service norms changed, so did our business model. Since then, Best Buy has evolved into a technological hub where people can get music, movies, computing devices, electronics, and appliances. We started our online store in the year 2000, and we acquired Geek Squad (GS) three years later with more than acceptable results. As of 2006 our outstanding shares had reached their maximum value at 56.00 per share, while our most visible competitor’s (Amazon) share was about 35.00. Unfortunately, that boon period would not last, after 2006, the value of our stock declined to its current price of 26.00 while Amazon’s has climbed to 273.00. We made a series of acquisitions with disastrous results that drove the price of our stock to a low of 21.00 in 2008. By the figures and facts shown, it is evident we have two problems: first, our current business model needs to improve; second, we have an image problem. To change that, we prepared a few suggestions to modify our business model and, at the same time, improve our public image. These changes will eventually help us to increase profits and avoid excessive layoffs.
Size of Retail Locations
In order to improve our sales per square foot ratio, it is necessary to reduce idle space. The current initiative to reduce space to favor smaller devices such as smartphones and tablets is good, but it falls short in other categories. For example, as a customer enters a Best Buy store, he or she expects to see an extensive laptop exhibition area. With the current initiative, that would not be possible in some stores. Radio Shack already uses this strategy; therefore, it is advisable for Best Buy to keep a tangible differentiation. A viable option would be to modify the Geek Squad service to fit the need for less space. Also, in accordance to that idea, we could do away with the music CD areas by replacing them with experience sections with music available to be heard in multiple personal kiosks. Direct downloads would be available to customers, which they could execute directly from their smart phones or with a store code to be used online.
Our exhibited merchandise in the computer department is always off or password locked, preventing the customer from fully experiencing devices like PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Best Buy should change that policy by offering a more intimate and improved customer experience. That calls for the use of a viewing model similar to Apple’s, where the items in exhibition are powered and available for the customer to experiment them. This hands-on demonstration should include functioning Wi-Fi networks with limited connectivity to trusted sites.
Eliminate the fifteen day return policy and change it to a more consumer-friendly sixty day one for every customer. Thanks to Costco’s ninety day return policies in electronics with no restocking fees, customers in general expect a more generous return policy. Personally, I can attest that this differential in return periods becomes critical in considering the risk associated with purchases of more than $500.00. According to ihatebestbuy.com this is one of the most upsetting issues customers have with our store. Also, numerous complaints have been filed from customers who were denied a return for not being Premier Silver members (PSMs) of our Rewards program. PSMs get sixty day returns instead of fifteen. We believe that this distinction only alienates other buyers and does not do much to increase our efficiency rates.
Modify the ninety day expiration window in our loyalty program, or eliminate it completely. In light of recent consumer pressure, many stores have changed their loyalty programs so the earned incentives may carry over longer periods, or in some cases, do not expire at all. According to techjournal.com the push for non-expiration-date rewards began with American Express and IHG (a hotel chain) and later expanded to other industries such as airlines, grocers, and financial services. If we are to continue to offer a reward program, we should consider expanding the expiration date. It should be noted that low cost retailers in the electronics industry like Wal-Mart and Amazon do not offer loyalty programs. That may open a debate to reconsider to either use the program to keep our customer base happy or do away with it if a low-price strategy is to be followed.
End Outsourcing Agreements and Reconfigure the Online Store
According to Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, Best Buy’s online store is one of the worst in the industry: its inventory is scarce, return policies are not in par with the current market conditions, and its functionality is not even close to that of Amazon. One example is the simple task of adding a gift note to some item, it is just not possible. Also, Best Buy’s website is a laggard compared to those of the competition; a single task, say a purchase, takes at least double the time it takes at Amazon.com. In light of the facts described, Best Buy should end all of the outsourcing contracts at once; our online store is a core function necessary for our own survival and should not be delegated to third parties. We also suggest improvements to the online store focused on usability and ease of access. Additionally, the online store should include direct links with access to customer focused groups, for example blogs and open forums about the use of windows 8; device ratings (like Amazon’s), and direct online help for normal issues with new computers. Actually, resembling Costco’s concierge service, we could offer free use of the Geek Squad’s service for 30 days for new items. This would work as a trial and could increase Geek Squad’s sales by a significant percentage.
Surprisingly, Geek Squad is known to the community in general as an on-site service available by visiting customers in their homes or by having the customers visit the Geek Squad store. That is just short of the actual reality and is not acceptable; our efforts to increase customer awareness about Geek Squad’s great online help capabilities should be escalated. By doing so, Best Buy would capture new customers, achieve higher satisfaction rates, and more revenue. There are competitors offering similar services, but, in comparison, Geek Squad has a unique brand recognition that it can, and should capitalize.
In the last two years, a barrage of negative publicity from Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today have, without a doubt, hurt our image. Best Buy should hire a professional public relations firm and develop a positive costumer-centered strategy. Any positive changes and improvements should be reported to customers and consumers in general via publicity, news outlets, and marketing campaigns. If Best Buy is to maintain and improve its market position, a better image in the public eye is paramount.
The strategies outlined are centered in customer satisfaction and the use of more efficient revenue generating means. Customer satisfaction and good public relations are of essence. Best Buy or any other company, is nothing without loyal customers; therefore, our efforts must be centered on them first. Also, our current sales and marketing system needs a complete overhaul; that is true for our store-front sales; but, it is painfully true for our currently outsourced online capabilities. The adoption of the proposed strategies should put an end to our current downward spiral, and, in the short term, bring Best Buy back to its rightful place as market leader.
Disclaimer: The above lines were originally written for a business class, facts may or may not be exact, or may have changed. This is not a formal proposal and it is not intended to be. The essay is written in the first person for classroom purposes; I am not affiliated with, nor represent Best Buy in any way or form. The intentions for publishing in this forum are: 1) to comply with a class requirement, and 2) to add these ideas to this forum as others have done in the past.
There are many like I that do not get involved in many ways just to buy items to get points and in the process are trying to build up there points for more expensive items.
In the process as example I am not rich but did manage to get to Silver membership, had a hard year and could not spend 2500 to keep my membership status and was reduced back to standared member.
Same applied with trying to save my points and they were taken away within a year.
I like many have used Best Buy for years with a loyalty to this store instead of doing online shopping elseware for the majority of our electronic shopping.
This is very cold hearted on Best Buy's part.
This needs to be changed to no expiration on our points or memberships of whatever statusit mightsit at that time.
I have lost many points and my now now longer membership of silver. I am so disgusted with this store that I am about ready to go elsewhere if this does not change soon!!!!
Granted hey have a great geek squad and black tie warranty unlike any other store but this does not make up for the losses of many points and membships for many of Best Buys members over the last few years dues to not all can afford to keep up the $2500 spending limit over a calender year.
This needs to be changed!
Lot of towns across US have Best Buy as only electronic store. Customers use the location to get feel on latest technology, make up their minds and then go on to buy it online. If Best buy needs to stay competitive, one suggestion would be to start doing " Best Buy Annual Membership' like Costco/Sam's Club and other stores. Customers should still be willing to take that membership. Tie it will all rewards program. Please respond to this idea if you like it. Thanks
Crazy story - I was out shopping the other days and when I went to pay at this particular retailer, it offered the standard debit/credit card options in addition to the option of paying via Paypal. I think it would be a huge differentiator for a larger retailer like Best Buy to take to the helm of the future of mobile payments by doing something like this. Its already being accepted online thru BestBuy.com so it would seem like it wouldn't be too crazy of a stretch to integrate it into the in-store point of sale systems.
Currently the Mac Pro is only available online. I could understand, when it first came out, making it online only, as you could not get your hands on them because they were back ordered by several months; However, with improved availability, I would love to see Best Buy expand it's in-store assortment to include the Mac Pro. I find it weird that Best Buy would carry the $2500 MacBook Pro with Retina but all of sudden the Mac Pro is not worth carrying even though it's the most powerful and customizable Mac Apple's built-to-date.
I would love to see Best Buy pilot selling the base model Mac Pro in select stores - maybe start with the top 50 or 100 Mac-selling stores and see how it does and expand from there?
Entry-Level Mac Pro | Model: ME253LL/A | SKU: 2680016
3.7 GHz Intel Xeon E5 Quad-Core; 12GB of 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC RAM; 256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage; Dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs (2 x 2GB); Six Thunderbolt 2 Ports; Four USB 3.0 Ports; One HDMI 1.4 Port Supports up to Three 4K Displays; 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.0; Unique Compact Cylinder Design; Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks