This week we looked at a case study involving Best Buy, and their struggle to keep up with the online shopping takeover. Best Buy was one of the leading electronics stores in the nation throughout the 2000’s. But with the explosion of online shopping, and lower costs online thanks to no need for a show room, Best Buy started losing customers. The unfortunate phenomena of “show rooming” saw customers come into fully stocked Best Buy stores with the sole intention of testing electronics. Then they would leave the store and proceed to purchase the vary products they spent an afternoon testing online for a lower price. As this became more and more frequent, the president of Best Buy resigned. Now this was due to an internal affair, but the timing was pretty awful.
Best Buy worked furiously to bring more customers into their stores, and they did this by creating a promotion that later became a permanent tactic within the brand. What was created originally as a holiday season sale, the low price guarantee, saw Best Buy stores nationwide matching any competitors prices, whether they be online or brick-and-mortar stores. This kept Best Buy afloat through the holiday rush, but even after they continued to offer the guarantee all year round they weren’t bringing in enough funds to make money. This led to the closing of many stores, and an increased focus on creating the best customer service possible.
From a PR standpoint I think Best Buy has done a pretty good job reinventing themselves and dealing with the changing times. Obviously this is an uphill battle, but they appear to be on the right track. Thanks to online reviews and the plethora of information available on the web, consumers these days think they know all there is to know about products. This is where Best Buy is working to help consumers and provide the best buying experience possible. But shouldn’t this have been their goal all along? I’m curious to see what their next move is.