Show Rooming At Best Buy
Show Rooming At Best Buy
Show rooming involves customers accessing products before buying them online at the cheapest price. This is done to get the most competitive price of products, which a main factor influencing customers in buying products. Accessing products physically in a store helps customers make informed decisions in their favor related to the lowest prices (Bachrach, Ogilvie, Rapp, & Calamusa, 2016). This is because online firms offer their products at lower prices as they do not have the operation costs associated with availing and delivering products at a physical store. Show rooming has been on the increase in the past years, which has become a major threat to the traditional offline shopping retailers. Customers are not currently visiting traditional stores to purchase products rather to compare prices, get coupons, or to access products ordered online (Bachrach et al., 2016). This paper is going to examine the best marketing efforts of Best Buy, which is a consumer electronics retailer.
Best Buy is the largest electronics retail store in North America with different physical as well as online stores across the United States. Best Buy is determined in addressing customers’ needs as indicated in their mission statement (Teixeira ; Watkins, 2015). This has enabled the company to gain a huge customer base with over 75 million members in its program. Many customers were accessing Best Buy stores but not making purchases, which negatively affected their profits and other business goals (Teixeira ; Watkins, 2015). Best Buy initiated a price matching policy in 2012 to allow customers to match their prices to other local firms and other online retailers providing the same products. Some of the online firms include Amazon, eBay, and apple. This strategy was meant to minimize show rooming by customers and increasing its sales (Teixeira ; Watkins, 2015).
Best Buy had been negatively affected by Amazon, which allowed its customers to show room before buying the product from their stores. This led to increased sales through their competitive prices. This challenge led to decreased sales in Best Buy, which led to the firm appointing Hubert Joly as the CEO to develop a new marketing strategy (Teixeira ; Watkins, 2015). Hubert developed a strategy which would improve customer’s’ experience through price comparisons both online and in store. Best Buy responded to the threat of show rooming with a price matching strategy in 2013, which addressed the issue although not sufficiently as the profit margins were still low (Teixeira ; Watkins, 2015).
Positive Effects of Price Matching
Price matching involves stores matching the prices of items by comparing lower priced items in local brick and mortar stores. Consumers are required to avail prove of price advertisement from the organization (Palmatier ; Sridhar, 2017). Price matching enables an organization to retain and increase its customer base due to the provision of items to customers at the lowest prices available. This is important for a firm to maintain its profit margins. Price matching also reduces competition between firms as price in the main factor influencing consumers in purchasing different products. It is difficult to compete with firms, which have low prices for their products (Palmatier ; Sridhar, 2017).
Negative Effects of Price Matching
Local brick and mortar stores incur many operation costs, which can be negatively affected by low costs. Most of the operation costs are passed on to the consumer through increased prices. Although price-matching strategies result in increased sales, it has an effect on the revenue and profit margins (Palmatier ; Sridhar, 2017). Due to the increased companies matching prices, companies still need to find other strategies to attract customers. Other challenges involved in price matching strategy policies include the difficulties in matching prices correctly. Matching prices also includes a description of the local area and a correct matching of the product which may involve complex features of products (Palmatier ; Sridhar, 2017).
Recommendations to Best Buy
With the increase in e-commerce, Best Buy needs to change and implement its marketing strategies, as price-matching policies do not guarantee long-term benefits to the firm (Lee, 2014). With online shopping on the increase, Best Buy needs to invest heavily in online marketing rather on local brick and mortar stores (Lee, 2014). Online shopping has had positive results on companies like Amazon, which has focused on innovative strategies to improve consumers’ experiences. Amazon has a plan to launch unmanned commercial drones to provide customers with products in less than 30 minutes (Lee, 2014). This strategy indicates that more is required other than price matching policies. Best Buy has a large number of physical stores with over 160,000 employees, which is an increased cost over other online firms.
Best Buy should put more efforts in their online applications to be in level with other large online firms, which sell consumer electronics, and home appliances, which include the Amazon and eBay (Lee, 2014). Due to the high number of Best Buy stores across the world, it is difficult for the firm to close these stores and the management should put more efforts in convincing customers to shop in their store by providing other important services (Lee, 2014). These can include after sales services, increased guarantees on items, and more innovative products, which are better than their competitors are. This will help in regaining back their customers who would not go to the stores to compare prices but loyal customers who will make purchases from the stores (Lee, 2014).
The store employees can also be trained to help in convincing customers to make purchases from the stores, which can involve improved hospitality to customers and using the employees to collect feedback from the customers (Lee, 2014). Employees can help customers make purchases by providing guidance and more information about the products to the customers. Customers tend to be loyal and trustful to genuine sellers, which are a virtue Best Buy, should incorporate in its training of employees (Lee, 2014). The interaction between employees and customers is very important and it is a fact that online firms are unable to provide to their customers. Best Buy can take advantage of this to make a difference between online shopping and shopping at the local brick and mortar stores (Lee, 2014).
Local brick and mortar stores also provide products to customers quicker and easier than online stores, which is an advantage to the store. Customers are able to access the products in the stores unlike online purchases, which have a long process in accessing and delivery of products (McQueen, 2016). A good in-store experience will also increase the number of customers shopping in Best Buy. Since a large part of sales are from local brick and mortar stores, Best Buy should focus on these stores by expanding the product line and increase their marketing strategy. Marketing is important for any business and this determines the number of customers to visit the store (McQueen, 2016).
For a successful marketing strategy, Best Buy can conduct a research on the customers’ needs, which will help them in better understanding their customers and their preferences (McQueen, 2016). Best Buy has an advantage over other large online firms like Amazon by having employees who are able to help customers. These employees if properly trained, can improve customers’ experience which is a successful marketing strategy (McQueen, 2016). These customers are able to recommend other people to the store. Best Buy can also improve their sore layout, which gives customers the opportunity to test the electronic appliances and other items, which is not provided by online firms (McQueen, 2016).
Bachrach, D. G., Ogilvie, J., Rapp, A., & Calamusa, J. (2016). More Than a Showroom: Strategies for Winning Back Online Shoppers. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lee, T. (2014). Rebuilding empires: How Best Buy and other retailers are transforming and competing in the digital age of retailing. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
McQueen, M. (2016). Winning the battle for relevance: Why even the greatest become obsolete–and how to avoid their fate. United States: Morgan James Publishing.
Palmatier, R. W., & Sridhar, S. (2017). Marketing Strategy: Based on First Principles and Data Analytics. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan.
Teixeira, T., & Watkins, E., A. (2015). Show rooming at Best Buy. HBS No. 9-915-019: Boston, MA: Harvard Business School.