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Rollout Tablet Point of Sale Systems & Credit Card Payment Kiosks to stores.

Status: Tell Us More
by gadgeteer on ‎04-20-2017 12:03 AM

A good friend of mine manages a (carrier) retail store and I recently had the opportunity to tour it and there's a lot of great things that Best Buy can learn.  


They only have two computer-based point of sale systems for the entire store, for cash transactions, and I know this may seem impactical in a store like Best Buy but it would be interesting to see what would happen if you had 1 computer-based point of sale system for every 3 tablet-based ones.  The idea being that customers can checkout anywhere in the store and it also creates a more "in-the-moment", personable shopping experience too. With the move to mobile payments and cards at an all-time high, this also makes more sense, logistically.  The 1-in-3 rule, also ensures that certain departments like Customer Service and Front Lanes still have some computer-based POS systems too and that could be where customers paying with cash or check go to checkout, but to be honest & fair a majority of transactions nowadays happen via plastic or mobile payment. 


The other cool thing I saw here is that they have kiosks where you can pay your bill. So instead of sending customers to customer service to pay down/off their cards, you could simply have self-service kiosks at the front of the store where customers could do this on their own. 


Finally, the store has a queue system where you can check in and tell the person what you're there for and your name shows up on TVs all around the store so you know you're place in line. I don't think that this system (in its entirety) is right for a store as large as Best Buy, but it would seem like you could take the "Book-a-Blue-Shirt" pilot (for those not familiar it allowed you to check-in, in-store via the Best Buy mobile app, and schedule an appointment for assistance) and improve it by adding beacons to the store where employees can know approximately where in the store a customer is, based on proximity to a beacon. Customers could use the app to see their place in line and they would get a push alert when it was their turn.  




Status: Tell Us More

All interesting suggestions. Would anyone else like to see any part of this idea implemented? Make sure to vote for an idea if you like it.

by Senior Social Media Specialist Senior Social Media Specialist
on ‎04-25-2017 03:11 PM
Status changed to: Tell Us More

All interesting suggestions. Would anyone else like to see any part of this idea implemented? Make sure to vote for an idea if you like it.

by Valued Contributor
on ‎04-25-2017 11:26 PM

I LOVE your idea about the kiosks to make payments on your My Best Buy cards.  This would be super nice.


The queue system would be great, but I’m curious who/how it would be managed.  Would every employee have a device with a queue list?  Would one manager have a device and then radio an employee to the front for the next customer?  Would it be automatically announced by a computer over the PA system?  It sounds convenient, but I just question how many people would actually want to wait for a Blue Shirt to free up; because if I was on the list but managed to track down an employee first, I would probably do that instead of waiting my turn.

by gadgeteer
on ‎04-25-2017 11:50 PM

@Sam15 The way the program worked in the store near me during the holidays, there was a designated "Book A Blueshirt" person that would basically be paged to your location in the store (although I'm not sure how they knew where you were - could've been they asked you to describe yourself within the Best Buy app or it could've been proximity based using the device, etc.).  That associate was fully responsible for the customer queue.  In the store I am referring to, there is a "greeter" (for lack of better words) when you enter the store that manages this, kind of like the concierge at an Apple store.  The Book A Blueshirt made it optional to wait -- I guess the mentality was it was during the holidays so some people have lists and know what they're looking for while others have no clue and need a lot of hands on attention.  To be fair, they didn't do the best job marketing this at all and a lot of employees (And albeit, customers) didn't even know this was a thing. 


If it were me, I would setup something like a genius bar in the middle of the store with tablets and stools and have marketing collateral that explained the area (i.e. this is where you can signup for a personal shopper or whatever you wanted to call it), and the tablet would be locked down to, rewards, financing, college student deals, etc.  You could put ibeacons under the desk so that as the employee came to retrieve the customer they already knew who they were looking for based on proximity.  Above this said bar, you could have TVs and these could alternate between digitally marketing the program to the store (I would make the station a rectangle and have a tv on each end and then maybe 4-5 across the front and back) and then loop back to the queue list. 


Hopefully that clarifies and explains how it could potentially be implented. 

by Valued Contributor
on ‎04-25-2017 11:58 PM

@gadgeteer You make a lot of good points!  The hard part, in my opinion, is determining what's "optional" and what's "required", so to speak.  If someone signs in and waits a few minutes but then decides to grab an employee to help them, does their name still get left on the list until their turn is up next; or are they removed immediately?


I feel like this would be a neat thing to pilot in a few stores and test it out (in different ways than we did with Book a Blue Shirt) and see what happens.  Granted, our stores are WAY bigger than Apple's and depending on the day we may have more staff in the building too, so I guess it could go either way.

by gadgeteer
on ‎04-26-2017 10:37 PM

@Sam15 Yes, their name would be left in the queue until the employee went to the designated area to meet them and discovered they were not there.  I think this is a common problem you're going to find with any queue system though as (for example) you can now register online to put yourself in line at the DMV here but if you change your mind, decide not to go and don't show up, there's no way for them to know you've changed your mind and cancel your reservation.  How you solve for that? I don't know if there is a right answer.  You could say beacons but those only work up to a bluetooth range, so if a customer walked away to shop while they waited you would inadvertedly bump them.


I do agree there are a lot of great ideas in here and you could start it out on a few smaller footprint stores just to see how it goes and scale it larger from there.  Some of these things though, like having kiosks to pay credit card bills, would definitely improve the shopping experience by cutting down wait times at customer service (in which case people are already in a salty mood because the item most likely didn't work, etc. etc.). 

by Valued Contributor
on ‎04-27-2017 12:08 AM

@gadgeteer You touch on something important here: cutting down wait times.  I'm curious what the percent of self-serve shoppers are at other retailers.  I know that most Best Buy stores have wedding registry kiosks, but I haven't seen them used that often.  Using this technology for other purposes (help queues, order pickup, self-checkout) could definitely reduce wait times for sure.

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