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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!
Brand Shops work for some sectors of retail and in others they really don't make since. Take JCP for instance, I hated when they converted it from traditional apparel to this new "modern" retailer that Ron Johnson wanted it to be. The reason why is you used to be able to go into JCP and go to Mensware and you had shirts, pants, etc. In this new Brand Shop setup you have to know what "sub-brand" you're looking for, which something tells me there's a price game involved like putting the more expensive brands in more prominent locations and it actually makes it much harder to price compare. Imagine if you came in to buy a camera and you had to go to the Sony brand-stand and to compare it you had to jump over to the Samsung brand-stand and the Canon brand-stand - after a while it just creates a really frustrating experience.
Secondly, vendors in-store should go. On weekends, it seems like there's more vendors then there are Best Buy employees, which I'm sure Best Buy loves because they save a ton of money on labor, but it's really a bad image for Best Buy, considering they are "supposed" to be there to train employees and educate customers. The problem with this is most of these vendors are going to say whatever they need to say to land their sale and make their commission. Try asking a Direct TV rep what they think about AT&T, Time Warner or Dish - OR - a Sony camera rep what they think about a Canon? The bigger underlying issue that I've noticed is that customers don't realize they are talking to a vendor from XYZ company. So when they ask why the Canon with higher MP is cheaper than the Sony, they don't realize they're talking to a Sony representative that is going to try his/her best to spotlight their product's features over the Canon and not-surprisingly if you pulled sales data for the weekend I'm sure you'd see an unusal spike in Sony camera sells, etc. Nothing against Sony, I have their cameras and TVs but using them as an example.
On a larger scale the problem this creates is there's really no need to have as many Best Buy employees at that point. Why blow money on labor when you have vendors paying for real estate in your store and providing the labor? You really just need the blue shirts to run the registers at that point. This will mark the beginning of the end for Best Buy though because you will no longer be able to get unbiased, HONEST advice. For instance, the HTC One has been hailed as one of the best Android handsets on the market and the S4 was polar opposite from most professional review sites (i.e. Tech Radar), however the Samsung representatives in-store are going to play to all of the biases that have been created against HTC like the Sense interface sucks (which has actually been revamped on the One BTW), the battery is terrible, etc. to better spotlight their product. Think that's ridiculous? Check out what's happening to Blackberry! The Z10 was one of the best professionally reviewed smart phones and a lot of the ideas on it are fresh and intriguing yet many reviewers note it may be too little too late and thus employees talk customers out of it and into "trendier" handsets like an S4, iPhone, etc. The Z10 has PRACTICAL features that you can actually use like separate profiles for home and business use so you don't have to carry two phones. Samsung phones you can touch together to share things (which I know a lot of people with S3's and S4's and I have yet to see them use that feature once).
So are brand shops a bad idea? For a store like Best Buy it depends on how they were implemented. I've always liked Best Buy's traditional approach of being more departmentalized. Cameras are all in the cameras area and Best Buy could use their new connected stores' runway tables to spotlight integration for specific brands. I think having a store with like 10-15 vendor stores within it would create a flea market/farmer's market find of atmosphere similiar to that of Niemen Marcus.
I'm bewildered by the fact that you sell Amazon's Kindle. Amazon.com is the primary reason you are experiencing poor sales. If you must sell the Kindle, you should do what The Guitar Centers do - they have a big sign above their doors saying they will match online sites. And they DO! Not only did they match a price for me, they did better. As a result they made a huge sale!
Best Buy is my "Toy Store". I would be sad to see you go away. You must do what is in your best interests while doing right by your customers. I'm sure they won't miss the Kindle. I always check with BB first - this led to me buying a wonderful iPad MINI from you this past week.
Finally we need to take more pride in American companies. You've done a wonderful job with your "Apple Boutique", and even though they are assembled in Asia with Asian parts, Apple provides countless jobs in this country. As well as I am aware that Samsung is a huge market, it's because our marketplaces give it so much exposure, and now you are about to open "Samsung Boutiques". If you want to be considered a good corporate citizen, and not be and American sellout, you might want to reconsider the scope of such offerings.
The 60 price match/60 day return policy(upgraded from 45 days ) was one of the primary reasons I didn't mind impulse buying an item that may not truly be "worth" the amount I paid. This was a true benefit/perk of being a Silver member but now with the price match part being basically neutered by being limited to just 14 days & only available from BB/BB.com I see myself adjusting my spending completely.
In all fairness, I think I understand what the true problem(s) are RENTERS. A person can get a digital camera & use it on vacation, upload the pics & return the camera. Now BB has to sell the camera for at least 10% off as a open box item and that's just not fair. This can also be a problem with really big ticket items like TV's especially during the Superbowl. So why not adjust the return policy & add the restock feees to items that are high risk for renters to reduce this behavior altogether.
Number one since this perk is geared towards your "premier customer" base the $2500 spending requirement should already weed out alot of the renters anyways. You should also look at what the competition does & have exclusions for different items like the big ticket items so TV's, PC's, laptops, IPAD's should have the 14 day limit. If they go over the 14 days then the restock fee should apply or something along that line.
You could also charge a flat yearly fee that would negate restock fees but this would be a tougher sell since it's hard to predict the future unless a person is set on returning tons of unopened items. And come to thnk of it unopened items are the ones you should really be focused on.
There's definitely a middle ground that can be found on this issue which will keep RZ Silver members happy & protects BB frkm renters. I just comes down to BestBuy being willing to admit a mistep & make the right decision that keep good will strong.
Hopefully, this is the start.
This is the first year I've been Premiere Silver and to-date the only "wow" perk I've gotten is a free $5 certificate that showed up randomly on my account. I think Best Buy should really go back to the drawing board on this program and really figure out what it means to be premiere. It reminds me of when you get a credit card and they tell you that you'll have priority access to concerts and events and I think back and I've never been notified of a single one yet.
Best Buy should work harder to create a value there. Yes Extended returns are nice but that's not really a perk because with technology items you know almost right away if you like something or not. If you travel a lot this may be nice because you may take something with you, try it out and find you don't like it and you have more time to return it - but this is a very niche group.
Here's some ideas:
(1) Allow RZ Premiere Silver members the option of "Self Checkout" for purchases under $500. Similar to what the Apple store does you would be able to use the Best Buy App to self checkout yourself on small (non-high theft) items. So if I want a new pair of headphones that you don't mind stocking 200 of on the floor with no security, why can't I buy them on the floor and have the guy at the door (I see they've returned) check my receipt?
(2) Premiere Silver parking. How about designating the first couple of slots in the parking lot for Premiere Silver parking like they used to do back in the day for in-store pickup?
(3) Free upgraded express repairs. Problems with TVs, Appliances, Computers, etc. get free escalation.
(4) Free online cloud storage/backup. 50GB of free online storage (similar to Google Drive, iCloud, SkyDrive). Best Buy could really capitalize here and partner up with Box.com (they give out 50GB of free storage like it's candy!). Or they could use this as an opportunity to partner with Carbonite or Sugar Sync and boost these guys into the spotlight as well (for a back-end fee of course).
(5) More Premiere Silver shopping nights with products people actually buy. The "deals" advertised at these events are terrible. It's on HP printers or HP all-in-ones with AMD processors or an i3. There's no deal in that. Give me a store-wide 5-10% off coupon. Or a 10-15% off MSRP for open box/clearance (that's a win, win because you can really blow these out).
(6) Offer (and follow thru) on Black Friday exclusives. Let premiere silver members in an hour earlier (almost like a private shopping event) but on Black Friday. Lets be honest - most of the stuff that's sold on Black Friday is the lower end stuff and your Premiere Silver shoppers didn't get where they are by buying that mess - but why should they wait in line to spend 3-5x what the door buster customer is looking to buy? Let them be in and out.
(7) To drive cell phone upgrades 25% off 3 accessories when upgrading a phone (i.e. shielf, car charger, case) when Premiere Silver customers upgrade their lines thru Best Buy as opposed to AT&T, Sprint, VZ. I usually don't use Best Buy for anything cell phones because you have to wait ages to talk to someone but this could offer an incentive.
(8) Free trial to Best Buy services. For instance 6 months of free CinemaNow. This is also a win-win for Best Buy because it spotlights services that customers may not be aware of. When people get stuff for free they jump on it even if they have no use for it because there's a feeling of there being "no real loss." But if they enjoy it, they'll find value in keeping it so this creates a subscription stream for Best Buy. This could be how Best Buy kind of propels itself against bigger names like NetFlix and RedBox or evan competitors like Walmart and Amazon.
Cinema Now is cool, but let's face it, there's a lot of competition from Amazon, Vudu, Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, and the various other forms of digitally distributed movies. Why don't you guys implement a feature that would allow customers to create an instant library of movies based on the physical DVD or BluRay movies they have already purchased at Best Buy over the years? With the Reward Zone's history keeping track of purchases, I have to imagine that it would be easy to verify a customers ownership. I would think this would give CinemaNow an edge that the competition cannot match.
When people post reviews online, they are posting their personal experience with a product. When people go onto their reviews and down-rank them just because it's not something they would personally purchase it actually creates an environment where people don't like leaving feedback/product reviews. Why not keep things positive and have a thumbs up option and if you don't agree, you don't agree.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recently in the world of Apple, there has been an influx in the number of Apple's product lines featuring Flash Storage. I know there has been an influx in sales around the MacBook Air and the Retina MacBooks so customers are certainly responding positvely to this newer, faster technology.
My suggestion is for Best Buy to carry a CTO option on both the 21.5" and 27" iMacs and Mac Minis with Fusion. This would make great sense for Best Buy because on the new iMacs, the minor bumps on processor speed and graphics is not that ground breaking - yet offering a Fusion offer, while more expensive, would create a wider-variance product selection.
On Mac Minis, I would make it a 2.3GHz i7, 8GB DDR3 Memory and 1TB Fusion Drive, which would come out to $1149. If you're not looking to do graphic design or gaming this system would give you better performance than the entry level iMac for $150 less. Also, considering you can download the Mac OS X Server software for $19.99 this is the ultimate home/home office/SMB server made simple without all the IT people.
I also have noticed supply on iMacs is really bare so maybe start with the mini to test pentration and if it does well try it with iMacs when it does become available.
Before I get a lot of negative critism for this suggestion, hear me out:
Representatives are a great TRAINING resource; However, they should not be customer-facing. Many reps only know their products and I've seen reps blatantly lie about products to get customers to buy their brand offering of a product.
Not to mention, it's somewhat annoying to have reps approach you while you're trying to conduct business with Best Buy. It's like if you went to a Toyota dealership and a Ford person just walked up and started telling you how much better a Fusion is than a Camry. While you'll have some people that will take everything the person says to heart, you also have some people that had their heart set on the Camry and when someone down talks something you want it makes a customer feel ignorant and insulted and that could result in lost business for BestBuy (another reason for people to go buy stuff online).
Finally, reps don't know Best Buy policy and culture and they're not as easily distinguished from Best Buy employees. I kid you not I've noticed a HUGE influx in the number of reps in store - especially in home theater and computers and there's actually more of them in my store on weekends than Best Buy employees! The end result is customers assume they're wearing a polo and khakis - they must work here (this loops back into the original problem of customers taking everything they say to heart) - so if they mispeak about financing offers or return periods Best Buy is (in a way) liable for this as they represent their brand and Best Buy when they're in stores.
I need to know if there is a forum where I can share some revolutionary, paradigm shifting ideas, that if properly implemented, the products that Best Buy determines are the right ones, will with the proper approach for all practical purposes shut down that segment of Amazon sales that keeps Best Buy on edge.
The goal isn't to shut down Amazon but to determine what Products if handled properly will remove Amazon from that segment of the sales market. The ideas I have for the most part are primarily centered on a paradigm shift in what we used to call customer care and it is something that online sellers like Amazon are by their very nature stuck with the old model. I have a great deal of experience (practical) in this area that has to do with how Best Buy will re-create a whole new concept of genuinely "connecting" with the customer.
If Best Buy were to determine that this would be an approach to business that it wants to pursue, it would also mean that Best Buy will have to decide what products will fit this new model and the rest Amazon is free to have. Right up front we can all agree that Best Buy will not be selling Bathing Suits! And items that are peripheral to the bigger money making products that Best Buy must identify, Best Buy will then gone on to research these items that companies like Amazon will sell and can guide "Their Customer" to that link which will save them money; money Best Buy isn’t after.
So If you are interested Best Buy, I believe that survival will be a thing of the past an competition will not be an issue, for Best Buy alone, is the only "Store Standing" that can make this happen; shut down the Amazon's and therefore gone is the constant effort to continually redefine yourself primarily by reacting. Discovering what you know you can be the best at, with a determined passion to pursue that one thing that you know you can do better than anyone else as you create a connection with your customers will set you apart and Amazon will no longer be a foe to contend with.
I will stop hear and would be willing to share with Best Buy how this is all within your reach. It is exciting to think about it and I hope to interact with those that are serious about the bigger purpose, not just someone taking a few items here and there and trying to implement them without ownership of the necessary concepts, and without the needed and driving passion.
I live and worked in Taiwan, China, and Nepal for 17 years and when I watched the special on Best Buy- the Box store, and saw how you opened four stores in China and then explained away each one's failure by saying it was a good learning situation, I watched the show again and took notes and drafted a document as to why it was obvious from the beginning you were going to fail; Best Buy's response to that failure spelled a shrinking, not a growing group of loyal customers. I said to myself, had they simply called me and said, "This is what we are thinking of doing in China", I would have said you are going to fail if this is how you plan to proceed.
I hope to hear from someone that has the authority to not only entertain the strategies I will share, but also has the necessary connections to bring these ideas to those that are interest in a long over-due paradigm shift.
Thank you and know that my greatest motivation is to bring the customer and the company to a mutually beneficial place. I have had enough of quality stores having to close their doors as the Amazon's have, via massive "quantities" has appealed to customer greed offering prices that business’s cannot offer, and it is done at the expense of something each of those customers really values more.
I have been reading a bit about Best Buy's problems in the WSJ, Wired, etc,. Best Buy has gotten away from thinking like the innovator. If they want to utilize the best assets that they can provide over Amazon.com (online) or Apple, they need to think like a home user.
In your showrooms, start showing a combination of products being used as an innovator in a home would use them. For example, the XBox360 has had the ability to store or capture movies, music, etc,. from the cloud or from another personal computer for years; yet, Best Buy doesn't show these capabilities in their store. I suspect that the Geed Squad can do more then just tune TV's and PC's for novice users. Let them build systems that show off the cutting edge capabilities of the products that tied the many different systems together. Everyone has a PC. Show pictures, music, and movies loaded on the PC, then show how various systems (XBox360, PS3, iPad) can display these pictures. These are items that everyone has in their homes, but only the innovators take the time to figure out. This is where you can set yourself apart, by doing instore demostrations on how to set these up. Or maybe even YouTube videos that show this, that point people to Best Buy to get more help. How about just showing a Big Screen TV hooked up to a PC. Late Majority adoptors with PC's and Big Screens probably don't even realize how easy this is to do.
Use the assets that you have to your advantage.
Again another year of website crashing due to all of the traffic during the early access sale. If Best Buy would only offer the access to their loyal customers instead of anyone who has obtained silver access through whatever method, this would not have been an issue.
Why not reward your true loyal customers who actually spend the $2500 at Best Buy, instead of giving access to Reward Zone Master Card members who spend $2500 anywhere they feel like, members who somehow got upgraded for free for an unknown reason, and members who bought an item with the bonus of Silver premier access attached to it.
The Silver Premier membership has become a joke and it isn't special anymore. The perks keep getting smaller, because more people are able to benefit from them without being a regular customer. Even the free shipping has become more frequent throughout the year where anyone who purchases an item can receive free shipping.
It definitely would be a change for the better and your best customers would be able to actually have the chance to benefit. So hopefully it will get looked into for future special events, seeing it's your loyal customers, who actually spend money at Best Buy, keeping your business going.
I read in your ads that you say you can upgrade to "X" amount of ram and a bigger hard drive for a little more money. That is fine. But it seems more of an upsell then to customize a computer.
But some customers who may walk into your store may be intimidated by prices and or specs. At least group your desktops into sections, one for Gaming, One for Basics , One section for business use , etc.
And Insignia , by entering into the PC monitor market, lets hope you can expand this to entry level desktops and deliver even more value on the solid brand you already have in the store.
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.
Convert your vendors such as HP, Samsung, HTC, and etc into partners, invest into them. Best Buy sells their products and should flex it's muscle a bit to set some standards and change the quality of the products and processes. One example, many of the products carried at the store have unnecessary packaging why? Make the packaging smaller. That would allow for more space on trucks, which could lead to more deliveries per truck even more warehouse space and smaller stores or making the warehouse smaller. Another thing is to share information. If the customers dislike a certain product share that information with your vendors/partners., This would let them know what they need to work on to make a more sound product. This could on on....