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I think it is outragous that best buy offers 3 year financing (36 month) for anything home theater over like 800 dollers but there are people like me that build extreme computers and ever servers that are well over $3,000 and we only qualify for 1 year and a half financing (18 months)
I would be able to build a much nicer computer that is better and more efficient if bestbuy would offer 36 month financing.
I like to build my own computers for myself and other people from ordering all of the parts that i want and i want expensive stuff and i can't afford to buy it because bestbuy doesnt offer and financing deals for computers, it just falls under anything eles $X and over. I am looking at building a $3,000 ultimate computer right now and im not able to because the min payment would be over $160 a month for 18 months where as i could only pay $83 a month for 36 months (thats almost half the price per month)
So come on bestbuy, please dont poop on me so i can build my own custom computer from you guys and give my money to you guys as i love bestbuy. Let us all of 36 month financing for anything computer related thats over so much money.
Here's a simple idea I hope others will back me on. STOP CARRYING NETGEAR PRODUCTS. Their support is flat out aweful. I owned their router for less than six months and it died on me. Their support (via email because they won't let you call if you've owned the product for more than 6 months) told me the error was with the product, not me so it was under warrantly. They had me email a bunch of stuff to support and now 3 days later, nothing. I have written them several times asking for follow up, nothing.
It's basically a waiting game because they probably know I'll just go buy a new router since I'm not going to continue to go on without wifi. But my point is this, Best Buy prides itself on carrying quality products. Netgear honestly makes you guys look bad. I have read countless other complaints on the same topic of mine about them on the internet. Here's to hoping you lose a bad product and continue with quality.
It's 2014 and I cannot fathom the reason why you cannot purchase an open box item, such as a laptop, online and pick it up in store. Here's some reasons why this would be beneficial:
(1) Increases store sell-thru: it's probably not good for a store to sit on a bunch of open items. When I check my local store's open item page they show they currently have 251 open items. Offering online purchasing with shipping would help to move product that is just sitting in a store into a customer's home. With the speed that technology moves, it's never a safe bet to sit on anything too long because before you know it, a refresh is occuring and new models are coming out and the stores have to sell these open AND now older items at a steep loss to move them. Looking at the dates on some of the open item labels in-store some stores sit on open items for excessive amounts of time (the laptop I'm using now I just purchased a few weeks ago and it had been open item since February!).
(2) Increases customer satisfaction: Online accuracy is sketch; I've had times where online it shows "in-store only" and after commuting to the store I've had associates tell me the items been sold or even worse, they don't know where the item is but they're aware it's still showing up as available online (but have yet to fix it).
(3) Better pricing accuracy: you don't know how many times I've been inside of Best Buy and seen an item that's on sale and there happens to be an open box, yet it's priced at MORE than the item is NEW on sale. Allowing online purchases Best Buy could have a system that auto-updated prices. This would not only ensure pricing accuracy but would also ensure that pricing was uniform across stores. For instance one item I was viewing earlier had 6 different price points at various locations even though all of the items shown were in the same condition level.
(4) Demand generation: Best Buy could use open boxes as a demand generation engine. I remember way back when my local Best Buy store would have an open box night where all open box items in-store were an additional 5-15% online. With competitive drive-times at NewEgg like Shell Shocker Deals and similar offerings at Tiger Direct, Amazon, B&H and other online competitors this could give customers anothe reason to choose Best Buy. If you want to save margins on open boxes instead of direct product discounts why not offer double or triple reward points since you can only use them in Best Buy - recycling the revenue while taking care of the customers that keep your stores open.
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.
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.
I had a few suggestions for open box/clearance:
(1) I wish there were a way for me to purchase open items or even clearance items and have the option of having the item shipped to my home or to my local Best Buy store for pickup, perhaps using the My Best Buy status to determine shipping price; For instance, if a store in Fort Worth has an item on clearance/open box, a lot of the times you'll see a grayed out "In-Store Pickup Only" displayed but what if I'm in Austin? It would seem that if an item is on clearance, it's most likely not selling so it doesn't make sense to have a store just sit on it when you have a customer that's willing to buy it, but is geographically challenged. At the same time, this should be a mutual relationship: I understand you want to protect margins, so most of these items have between a 10-15% markdown, but any value is gone from the deal if I have to commute to go pick it up.
(2) Best Buy used to send out coupon books to Premiere Silver members that had savings on random items; How about using this as a tool to reward loyal customers AND get rid of clearance/open box? Why not have a coupon that offers and additional 10% off for Elite or 15% off for Elite Plus members for all open box/clearance items for a set period of time?
(3) Open item tags indicate the date an item was returned/the open item tag was generated; Yet there are some open items that are going on 60-90 days old with no further markdown. It would seem to me the longer an item is held onto, the more it should be marked down as most core items like televisions, cameras, computers etc. have a warranty that's NOT reset if the product is registered (in most cases) without the customer having to jump thru hoops. There are also times when an item has gone on sale and the open item tag is so old the price advertised on the tag is actually more expensive than the sale price advertised on a new in box item which further indicates that the item has been there a while and Best Buy is not actively updating the price or putting much effort into moving the item(s).
Almost everywhere I shop can scan a coupon code off a smartphone except, of course, Best Buy. Since your core business is selling technology, maybe you should try to keep up with it. You email me a $10 coupon that can be used in store or online and when I go to the store they have to have it printed out. This reminded me why I quit shopping at Best Buy to begin with. The $10 coupon got me to give you another chance and the hassle of not being able to use it since I did not have a printed copy turned me off to you more than I already was.
I've heard a lot about best buy being in jeopardy of going out of business due to the expense of having a physical store. This makes it easy for competing on line businesses to undercut the prices offered at best buy, and in some cases Best Buy even aids in selling product for other companies by allowing the customer a place to demo the product before buying it elsewhere. This troubles me because I like Best Buy and I like that there is somewhere I can go to put my hands on the newest electronic products before buying them. I believe that the answer here is selling best buy memberships.
This is how and why I think it would work. Like Sam's Club or Cosco, the only people that would be aloud to enter the store would be members. Annual memberships would be sold at a rate that would allow for the store to supplement the sale price of items to a competitive level with on-line retailers. If someone wants to come in and see how a TV looks and then go buy it from somewhere else, they will have at least paid for a membership. Like with anything else, loyalty is key. If you have a best buy membership that you have paid for, you have went to the store to try the product out, and you are seeing comparable prices at the store and on line, everyone will be compelled to purchase with Best Buy due to the laws of reciprocity if for no other reason. Plenty of people will tell you that they won't shop at best buy if they need a membership, but as the other stores go out of business they will be back. Once consumers realize that there's no where else to "try before you buy", they'll come buy a membership.
This business model would work invariably because people still want to go see a product before they buy it. It would work for Best Buy because they already have the stores. I know I would certainly buy a membership to Best Buy, even if the price was on the steep side as long as the in store prices where cut down to that of all the on line retailers. Be the first to adopt this and you will be around way after Sears, JC Penny, K-Mart, Radio Shack, etc.
It's a known fact that you need a fairly good many plus ups for an idea to even be considered. The only issue I really see with this is this... there aren't enough people on here to get so many plus ups who actively check ideas. Even the best of the best ideas normally only have like 20 plus ups. So what does that say to me? it says nto enough votes can be really given. Here is my idea of how change should be:
-An idea stays up for 60 days
-After the idea is up for 60 days voting is then closed.
- You have a plus up and a plus down voting button
\-A person can only choose one of the buttons and can only vote once.
-A total count is done and a percentage is taken.
-If the total plus ups beats the plus down for a total of 85+% then the idea would go through to whoever would need to look at it/get it approved ( the board I assume )
I honestly have to question how many of these ideas are even ever considered...According to this page most of the items added are
1) stuff that was already being done eventually
2) general bugs...
3) some very high votes having been done (i.e. the one with 133 votes)
So now my question is this...we have several ideas that have around 20 votes and they have been up for at least two months yet we never hear word back. Where is the communication BestBuy? Number one rule for business is communication between the consumer and the business.
So yes this is my suggestion. I'm sure it still needs some work to make this better but it should at least give you guys an idea of a better system.
while advertising for the companies that has the best rep representing the product it also brings i a million or more people in to your place and on top of it you are advertising companies product so that they get the product out, and you both come otu on top of it because they get there product to the right people and you get the people that you need to get in your place to buy all the rest of the products its like killing ten birds with one stone. While your a electronics store you give free products to buyers at your store who purchase products, and than you are making money from the advertisement or building business relationships with no cost that brings tons of more custoemrs that you ne4ed to your store, and you could do it every week and probably be the biggest electronics store again and make more profits than frys electronics. Because every business needs incentives because of the amount of competition and its the only way to get the customers to the store and if the prices are right and good and at the right location you have sold your business to you rcustomer and know they are only going to go to your store, but since you ar giving free products each week , for advertisement for the other company. You are able to sell them stuff at a ok price and still get them back because of the great things you do and offer so either way it goes with the idea you come out on the top of the situation. And since the company that want sto advertise there product to the right people so it spreads like wild fire because it only takes a couple thousand people to spread your business to a million people with a couple months. I think it would be a great incentives, with business relationships, and advertisement idea with other companies and offers a guaranteed customer ratio every week for the business so you now at least it will pull oy uthrough the hard times either way, AS TO SAY IT WILL KEEP YOU RUNNING IN ANY RECESSION. Alright thats my first idea within a year.
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.
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
Having been a BB customer for over 15 years I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. The past few years I have seen this company survive in a market that is becoming increasingly competetive with companies that are more diversified and can take a short term loss to dominate the market. Still, my need for instant gratification draws me to the stores so that I can see and touch the product. This has resulted in more impulse purchases than I care to admit to.
When I walk into a store I can depend on a consistent customer experience. Always a little variance, but that's to be expected. Shopping online is the same, consistently good with some minor hiccups here and there.
In my latest experience with the call centers it was painfully obvious that they don't all subscribe to the guiding principles outlined in the Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report.
There's no need in posting empty threats of never going back to BB or boycotting the company. I still want my instant gratification. But what you lose out on is an advocate to support brick and mortar stores in an area that is enamered with Amazon.
My ideas are:
I am not providing these ideas because I want kudos or achievements. I am not interested in anyone contacting me to apologize for my past few expereinces or offer me discounts to make up for them. Amazon's strategy on predictive shipments and their network of distribution warehouses is what BB has to compete with over the next few years. Dont let your weakest link be a constant detractor for future business. If your competetive edge is to offer the best customer experience in the market and have leaders that deliver extraordinary resutls, then you have to make sure that the channels customer choose to contact you during the "make or break" part of their experience is in line with what other channels of your company.
HA! Only two beers in and I managed to ramble on this long. PM me if you want to hear more.
So as a Best Buy Employee from the moment I have joined, I never stop finding myself creating things that not just have benefited my district but my store.
With the great success of all my ideas, I've had a primary focus of the customer end of our business. Its what drives me. However this idea, isn't something I can start at my store level like everything else. It pretty much has to come from above.
My Idea is the emails to customer about weekly deals. The concept is that we tailor our emails to the customer and provide services based off that purchase.
Similar to Apple's and Amazon's Model, we have what they don't. Solutions. For Ex.
I purchase Macbook Pro at Apple Store. I am sent an email specifically tailored to my purchase with info and start guides about it.
If we followed that model we could better achieve customer satisfaction not just online but instore with these emails providing information and what other customers have bought with it and quick guides we have on our bestbuy.com site. This can go hand in hand with tablet video trainings we have when some one buys a tablet. (Makes sense doesn't?)
Following off that Amazon's great model is its special deals. However Best Buy won't be able to match some of those offers and lets face it. However If we tailored customer purchases with deals they could get for their product in an email. That, would be a great benefit for the customer.
I don't shop for TV's. So when I get a "Great Deal on TV's". Frankly, it doesn't tailor to my benefits. However sending me emails about deals on External Hard Drives and Flash Drives. Well then as a customer I would know more deals for something I would want.
Problem with our current model is that its generic. That sucks. If I treat customers I interact with a unique tailoring to what they need then why not their emails?
Bottom line, my proposal is we change our email delivery system not by generic email's but by purchases and services based off the products. Even more importantly services.
Tech Support for a purchase of 2 PC's and a tablet and it isn't on the reciept? Either it wasn't what a customer wants or they didn't understand its great benefits, regardless giving them the option to see their choices is us as Best Buy saying " We care, so heres how we can show you"
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 love Best Buy, but find myself very few reasons to come into your store. You cater to the mass sales; hi volume, low profit, and have been trying to find your niche to stay relevant. There's nothing in the store for me to keep me coming back. I've bought everything I can and have to buy a lot online because there simply is no store to buy it in. I feel like Best Buy is really missing out on a revenue source. Everyone has forgotten the PC gamer and according to all the stats out there, we're growing big time. There isn't a store in this country that has a gaming pc or laptop in it to check out. Even if you just had a display model because it is expensive, high end and tailored. You guys have a lot of store real estate that could be put to better use.
Here's what I believe is the perfect situation and since Dell has been taken back over and wants to shake things up. You get Alienware to set up a small store in gaming and start carrying more gaming pc parts. Geek squad starts handling service on the alienwares. I'd be more interested in ordering my next pc through the geek squad just for that reason. Customer support is huge and their biggest weakness. Then you start catering to PC gamers by bettering your instore wifi and start hosting LAN parties to bring the gaming community together and in store. Start weekly game discounts and start a whole new revenue stream for Best Buy that's huge.
I'm tired of hearing Best Buy isn't doing well. We want you to do well, because there really is no other brick and mortar tech store anymore. I try to buy everything I can from you, but you don't have products that interest me in the area that I really spend. Please pass this on. I would be so interested in the LAN parties too. I have "online friends" but to have a way to hook up with other pc gamers in my area would be awesome. Nobody does anything like this. Please consider. Thanks.
How to restore/increase business profitability and provide services and products that are really in demand.
Step 1: Accept that the old model of big box high ticket low margin merchandise sales that lead to up-sold high-margin add-ons, cables, and warranty plans is dead and no longer working. Your shrinking market (the rich, the tech-illiterate, and the naive)
Exhibit A: Customers can get the same high ticket Audio/Video products online cheaper (Amazon, newegg, slickdeals, etc.)
Exhibit B: Customers can get comparable high-margin cables and add-ons for 1000% cheaper online (monoprice)
Exhibit C: More online information and ready access has rendered the need for basic product knowledgeable sales staff useless (cnet, hometheater, dpreviews, etc.)
Exhibit D: Improved Product longevity and tech gimmick refresh has rendered warranty plans a waste of money. You're product buy back plan is a slightly better option if we choose to make the same expensive mistake we did the first time.
Exhibit E: CD and DVD/BluRay sales are dying. Disk media takes up space, less portable, and lots of content is crap not worth paying $15-40 for. Streaming and download are cheaper, portable, and available from your couch. The only exception to this are console games (see Exhibit C, Recommendation C)
Exhibit F: Geek Squad services are decreasing. Computer hardware is becoming cheaper, more disposable and less important as data moves onto the cloud.
Step 2: Embrace a new model that your customers are already abusing you for and others that should be clearly obvious.
Exhibit A: Showroom club membership. The lure of a customer into a store is no longer a guaranty they will buy something. Meanwhile BestBuy stocks slow moving expensive inventory that people armed with a CNET review come in to try, note the current retail market price, take a snapshot with their phone, make a decision about which Audio/Video equipment is better, and then go online to buy the same brand/model cheaper.
Recommendation A: If BestBuy closed, where would people go to try out something they might want to buy? Magnolia was a decent concept. Expand not by opening more big-box stores but by leveraging current retail space for club showroom memberships where pre-paid members would get full access to the latest array of Audio/Video/computer show pieces to test and try out.
Recommendation B: open smaller boutique BestBuy show-room and shipping only locations where club members can come in and try products. Let your showroom club memberships subsidize your limited boutique in-stock inventory.
Recommendation C: Allow showroom club members to have items purchased from BestBuy or other online merchants to be shipped to a BestBuy boutique showroom or participating store where the boutique studio can have the Audio/Video items set up in a custom environment based on the member's home theater dimensions/layout so the member can try them out and decide if he wants to keep it. If unsatisfied, the member can return the item for a refund and purchase another. Alternatively offer competitive pricing if the member chooses to purchase a comparable item from BestBuy online instead.
Recommendation D: Offer A/V classes on how to properly set up your home theater, what to look for in speakers, receivers, HD TV's and projectors, seating, wall paint, and other items the boutique showroom can be used for to provide an enhanced service to showroom club members and get them exposed and familiar with BestBuy "recommended" products.
Exhibit B: Wedding Registry - as another user already mentioned. More women are becoming tech-dependent and savvy. More couples are registering at multiple merchants offering more variety to their wedding guests. This should be obvious. The 10% off coupon alone on all remaining unpurchased registry items is enough alone to clear some inventory.
Recommendation A: Offer wedding, sweet 16, and Quincinera registries to take advantage of the youth and growing Hispanic population.
Exhibit C: Secondary Game market - as another user also mentioned. The Gaming industry is HOT and no longer only for kids. Many Gamers do have to have the game as soon as it comes out. However, with shifts in the pricing models of console companies and online package add-ons, as well as online rentals, more are delaying purchase in lieu of cheaper prices.
Recommendation A: Enter the used Games market and compete with GameStop. The arbitrage for used games is huge. Buy/trade in low and sell for 75% or 50% off the original price. Turn a low margin product into a high margin product.
Recommendation B: More adults are into gaming as they are the grown up kids from the original gaming generation. However, not all have the time to buy and play the latest games so they delay purchase or seek to rent.
Recommendation C: Negotiate with Microsoft and Sony to allow online Map-packs to be sold in stores. While it is convenient to download them straight to my xbox, I hate that I have to first buy MS points which never match up to the cost of the item and then browse through the horrific menu looking for the download and hope to have a fast enough connection to download and install the pack. I also hate how I have to have a credit card stored and can't just pay cash making my account vulnerable if xbox or Sony gets hacked...again.
Exhibit D: Lens rentals and increase your photography portfolio. Another user mentioned increasing your brand name lenses for photography equipment. Seeing as Ritz and some other photography places have shut their doors, Best Buy is a prime location for serving the growing prosumer photography and professional market. Just about every mid-20's bachelor I know has gotten into photography (not only as a way to meet pretty women) and every new mother I know has also gotten into photography and videography.
Recommendation A: Expand your photography line to include more lenses and adaptors for popular brands. Note: Olympus is going bankrupt, stock compatible lenses or of stable brands.
Recommendation B: Rent lenses. Again, take advantage of the try before you buy market. The difference here is you can't
try it out just by looking at it. A good trial requires taking it out for a day or two, hooking it up to your camera, and taking various indoor/outdoor day/night shots with your camera at different settings. Most of us in the DC/VA area have to drive into DC or at least 20 miles to the nearest lens rental area. What if BestBuy offered such a service. Hey now there's a good way to get us in the door and have us paying for something for a change.
Recommendation C: The Home Depot DIY effect. Offer beginning/intermediate/advanced photography courses at your stores. Surely there are some photography enthusiasts among your employees or just pool from your local social sources such as facebook and local singles sites. It's a great way to generate a virtuous cycle of new customers that increase their buying/renting interest that can also become a social forum for people to meet, make new friends, and even date. Best Buy could become the coffee shop of the 20-teens.
Exhibit E: Get a real online store. Your online store has an identity crisis. Is it an online catalog or an online store? Why should I go to bestbuy.com when I can get the same thing Tax free and free shipping everywhere else. The reviews are usually the only thing of value. Again, people are going to your site just to do research but not actually buy anything. The tax free option may be difficult to overcome but your inventory should be 10-20% cheaper online than in store. Find out if there are ways to resell and to sell items online without paying taxes in states that don't have a sales tax as well as to states that do.
Recommendation A: NewEgg approach: offer black-Friday style discounts on specific items each day. Whether they are overstocked items or items you are able to pass on deeper savings. We may not need an extra 8 GB thumb drive right now, but if you offer one up cheaper than any one else, I might be tempted to buy it from you now instead of someone else down the road.
Recommendation B: Train your customer. This daily deal discount works on the converse side as well. As with NewEgg.com, which sends daily eBlast deals via email, after viewing these a few times you start to see items that frequently re-appear. If I know that various quality brand subwoofers that are regularly listed at discount on these emails appear, I may put off purchasing from another online store or big box store because I know it'll show up eventually.
Recommendation C: Quarterly BlackFriday -Give a little to get a lot. Occasionally take an item that is really in demand and surprise-hit your Showroom club members with a "guerrilla discount" or "discount ambush" (I'm trademarking those if available). Without notice, send out an email at 1AM PST/3AM CST/4AM EST (possibly randomize the release times) listing a limited time/limited quantity offer of 50-60% off for 24 hours on a specific high demand item. Something like a Definitive Technology SuperCube I Subwoofer (reg $999) for $499 (100 available - limit 1 per customer). Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (reg $59.99) for $30 (500 available limit 1 per customer). Sure you'll take an initial hit but like a lottery, you'll make up for it in showroom club memberships once publicity gets out.
Recommendation D: The double-dip. If legal, as a follow up to Recommendation C above, allow unlimited purchases of a limited offering high demand product at 25-30% discount and allow your showroom club members to resell the item on your online store for about the same commission or Amazon or ebay might impose for resellers with free shipping to stores and boutique showrooms. This adds further value to the Showroom club membership, allows BestBuy to recoup some margin on the sales, and gets more people into it's boutique and showrooms to pick up their new items and anything else they might have happened to forget to buy.
The last and most important reason why anyone still actually would buy something from BestBuy as opposed to online is the simple necessity of "I need it right now and I can't wait for shipping". Boutique and in-store inventory should always be low but only swell during times when this might occur for a particular product. Hint: new TV's the day before and day of the SuperBowl or other major televised events. Another option would be to offer more of those airport kiosks near red-box kiosks to capitalize on the after-hours "oh-crap" my disk broke, controller broke, ipod broke, battery died moments.
I have other ideas but this is all I have time for right now.
Let's be honest: Best Buy hasn't been (price-wise) the "Best Buy" for a while now, but the customer service and product knowldege made up for that.
Nowadays, it seems like product knowledge and customer service have taken a seat to warranties, services and financing. Instead of telling me about the product, the employees rush to tell me about how they protect it if it drops or the screen cracks and it makes the entire interaction just sour and awkward. It's like if you ask a car salesman about a car and he starts ranting about insurance in case someone t-bones you; there's a time and a place and that's not it.
First things first. I watched the "Investor Day" webcast and they mention "no employee goes untrained." I've seen a lot of employees first hand that have gone untrained. Especially around Apple products - no you're not the majority, but it's like when you go to a restaurant and you ask for water and they give you "the water cup" versus if you ask for a soda and they give you the "big gulp" cup. Is it really a shock that we battle obseity? This is something that should be shipped ASAP - regardless of price if Best Buy employees don't speak my language (which is currently Mac) - I'd rather shop online or at an Apple store, regardless of price. On the same note, when Best Buy has Macs cheaper and the Apple stores with 1/3 of the stores are way outselling Best Buy- customers agree with me 200%.
Also, introduce Passbook integration. Get with the times and stop making people carry around all these papers and cards. As an example if I buy a computer, I have to fill out a paper. If I want tech support - I get a card for Tech Support and I have a reward zone card and a Best Buy card. I'm going to get a receipt (or get it emailed as I usually do) and a terms and conditions pamplet. I walk out of Best Buy buying a computer with a bag full of papers and cards feeling like I just bought a house/car and signed up for a bunch of credit cards.
Lastly, introduce self-checkout. It's fine if you're cutting back on labor because you don't have holiday traffic but why make customers wait in long lines for simple purchases. If you're worried about shrink set a price limit on it. I should be able to come in and buy an iPhone case or an iPhone cable without waiting in line for 30 minutes. The same goes for putting product out. A lot of stores I visit have a bad habit of locking stuff up. I understand it prevents theft - it also prevents sales. I can't buy what I don't see on the shelf for me to purchase. A lot of the times I want to be in/out. I don't want to ask for something, wait for someone to check to see if they have it, and then have to wait for them to go and find it. Life is short and time's precious.
I think that you should develop another insignia branded tablet. This tablet should bby windows 8 x86 based and possibly powered by amd's z-60 processor. This processor has on chip radeon graphics. This tablet may fill a niche market that, in my opinion has not been fully capitalized on. Marketing this item as a gaming or high performance tablet truly capable of replacing the consumers higher powered laptop or desktop would give you a product which is only available at Best Buy. This type of product may be able to carry a higher price tag as there is less competition for this higher power type tablet. This may enable you to grab a slightly higher margin in this low-margin category.
Where there are new processors (like Ivy Bridge) - there is new RAM speeds/standards. I went to Best Buy to upgrade my MacBook's ram only to find out you guys don't carry 1600MHz RAM - yet you carry DDR2 RAM?
When you have Macs and "Value [less]" laptops that come with 2-4GB of RAM, you should offer an option for customers to upgrade them. Bonus for you - most customers won't know how to do this so this could sell you some Geek Squad services.
PS: also, stop asking for thoughts on good suggestions and start working towards implementing them. Good ideas should start on paper and end in action, just saying.