Last 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!)