Best Buy Is Just Daring You To Use Their Stores As Amazon Showrooms

ultimate_showroomLast week, we mocked Best Buy’s ad campaign that frames the electronics chain as America’s “holiday showroom,” mostly because it’s close to the truth. For many people, Best Buy is a fine showroom for the online retailers they plan to really buy from. The company knows this, and the ad campaign is a sort of dare. “Come on in,” they’re saying.

Current CEO Hubert Joly joined the company ready to embrace showrooming. Embrace the very thing that made blogging jerks make fun of them last holiday season? Yes. Someone stopping by to fondle some cameras is always a potential customer. Once they’re in the store, Best Buy wants to ambush shoppers with something that they aren’t expecting at all: competent customer service and price-matching to online outlets.

“A year ago, people said that showrooming would kill Best Buy,” he told an interviewer. “I think that Best Buy has killed showrooming.”

Fewer than 10% of customers actually take advantage of online price-matching, but the threat of online retail is ever-present.

Fear of ‘Showrooming’ Fades [Wall Street Journal via Yahoo] (Thanks, Nojo!)

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  1. StevenB says:

    I have used bNm stores as a showroom before. I have no issues doing so. It makes it easier and as a consumer, it will usually give me the best deal. If the bNm store can price match where I would’ve bought it online then I’ll be glad to buy it from the store. Otherwise, oh well.

  2. TheRealGoatweed says:

    I’ve used BB as a “showroom” many times, and unless they really have changed their online price-matching requirements, I will continue to do so. A few years ago, I fell victim to them not price-matching their own website and ever since then I’ve written them off. That being said, even with tax I have found Amazon and Newegg to have much better deals than Best Buy and I expect this holiday season to be the same.

  3. Instegone says:

    Now that Amazon charges tax in VA and BB price matches Amazon, I almost find no reason not to shop at Best Buy and buy from them now.

  4. nchiker says:

    I’ve price matched at Best Buy something from Amazon within the last 6 months. I needed something before I went on vacation, otherwise I would have just gotten it from Amazon. It was a little bit of a hassle doing so. The customer service reps did not have much training on it and it took took 5 people and arguing back and forth to get it. It must be offered and shipped by Amazon, which seems reasonable. Frequently, though, when you search for an item on Amazon, the item will say offered by somebody else on the marketplace, even though Amazon does offer it as well. I had to show them how to find the Amazon offer and even then, they were reluctant to accept it.

  5. NorthernPike says:

    I’ve bought a TV recently at Best Buy even though they were not the best buy. I didn’t bother with a price match because it was a small amount. I appreciate being able to pick it up on the spot and being able to rapidly return it if there is a problem and it is worth a premium for that.

    On the other hand, there is absolutely no chance of me buying something like an HDMI cable from them. I can buy longer cables for less money, even if I needed to pay for overnight shipping, from a place like Monoprice.com

  6. Naskarrkid says:

    I’m all for showrooming, but I also like the idea of buying and taking home a product in the same day. With that said, my local Best Buy just rearranged their store, along with that, the employees are wearing non Best Buy shirts (Verizon, Samsung, Directv, Microsoft), which makes it harder to avoid them. I don’t have a problem with being helped, but it’s their approach. They don’t ask the normal “How may I help you?” or “Find what you’re looking for?”, but with a question like “What brings you in here today?” (obviously it’s electronics), or they won’t stop talking after I politely say “no, but thanks”. Not sure if this is a part of BB’s new strategy, but it makes me like them even less. I think I’ll start ordering online more, and shop elsewhere.

    • Mapache says:

      Yeah I saw the same pattern at my local BB it made it difficult to approach someone because I thought he was just the At&T guy and would not be able to tell where some stuff was located. I have to give it to them that their stores are looking better, i haven’t step in nto a best buy in a couple years until last sunday

      • Naskarrkid says:

        They are a lot better looking, but I question the the way they display the Samsung products. They have the Samsung “store” that displays phones and tablets, but they display the same devices in the BB phone and tablet sections.

  7. timewellspent says:

    Best buy complains about show rooming, but they do it to themselves. After doing my research at home went to my local Best Buy choose the computer model I wanted and then was told “sorry we don’t have the model in stock but we can order it for you” This happened when I was looking for an ipad , printer and a laptop so I don’t even bother going there anymore.