Daily Insights

The Best Time to Be Online

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Mar 01, 2019

It’s a great time to be online—maybe even the best. Despite the fact that consumers aren’t purchasing phones with the fervor that they used to, Best Buy’s online sales jumped 9% in the most recent quarter, and nearly 22% of total sales came from digital.

What are they buying and how is this retailer getting them to hit “buy”? Here are the best practices this retailer has been using to keep consumers coming back.

Shoppers showed a strong demand for gaming, appliances, smartphones and wearables like headphones, Fitbits, and smartwatches last quarter. Still, purchasing consumer electronics products like TVs and laptops can be daunting. On its site, Best Buy helps shoppers make high consideration purchases with interactive comparison functionality on both desktop and mobile category and product pages.

When it comes to customer service and bolstering loyalty, Best Buy makes an effort to stay current and connected to consumers of all ages and interests against competitors like Amazon. In 2018, the retailer launched Best Buy Home, an all-in-one app that allows customers to track all of their electronics items to easily access otherwise cumbersome product materials such as warranty information, instruction manuals and customer service information. Customers’ purchases from Best Buy are automatically added to the service and customers can also input other electronics to access relevant information, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box.

Additionally, Best Buy’s Total Tech Support provides 24/7 access to Geek Squad help for a $200 yearly fee. And the brand’s recent acquisition of Great Call, a manufacturer that creates safety-focused, mobile-friendly products for seniors (Jitterbug, Lively, etc.), helps cement its relationship with seniors and supplements its Best Buy Assisted Living Service while leveraging the newest smart home technology and matching Amazon’s possible entrance into the healthcare vertical.  “When consumers use these services, they often end up making purchases that bring in higher revenue and gross profits than online or in-store purchases,” Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said.

On the practical side, Best Buy serves as a model for how retailers can use search bar advancements to minimize the number of steps required to find products and convert. For returning customers, the retailer saves customers’ shopping histories and searches so they can quickly pick up where they left off. It also allows shoppers to click through to product pages from the search bar, instead of navigating and filtering through grid pages. By leveraging customer service as a critical part of its strategy, Best Buy demonstrates how consumer electronics brands can remain a source of inspiration, expertise, and information for consumers.