Best Buy on Multi-Channel Retailing

Best Buy, Retail

When Best Buy speaks, I listen. The company seems to be ahead of the retailing curve in terms of producing an innovative customer experience. Back in September, I posted about Best Buy's personal shopping assistants and kitchen design service. There's been a lot of talk about the company's in-store customer centric initiative. Over the holiday shopping season, the company pushed it's in store pick up service with great success.

Sam Taylor, Best Buy SVP Online Stores & Marketing, discussed some of his strategies for success with multi-channel retailing. This is not an interview (no direct quotes), just what I picked up from his talk.

Sam equated the normal multi-channel retailing situation to a sandbox. Kids play nicely at first, but ultimately, some kind of conflict comes along. The secret is sharing. Analogy to your organization: Are people pointing fingers? Is there an internal channel conflict? Do you hear people say things like…you shouldn't be on our P&L…there shouldn't be online only promotions…or from the other perspective…we're the younger, smarter brother, we're growing faster, etc.

It's about sharing:
1. Share the money.
-All the stores get credit for the revenue and profits from

2. Share the data between the different channels.
-For example, we break out web analytics by different customer segments on the web and share that data with the stores (for instance, on the web, BB can see a certain segment looks for Star Wars, WWE, Webcams, etc.). One store manager put this data to use and wrote: "We couldn't be more pleased with the results. On the release of Star Wars, we put out titles from your list on a third table. We were 198% to revenue as well as one of the top stores in UPT. The 'segment table' has about 70% sell through strength."

3. Share the experience and solution for the customer across the channels. -For example, more than 50% of houses with multiple pcs don't have a broadband network or can't get the network...
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