TechnologyTell

5 Thoughts on the Best Buy Customer Experience

Sections: Gadgets / Other

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best-buyLast week my wife and I decided to head down to Best Buy to check out some tablets, Chromebooks, smartphones and smart TVs. It had been a while, partly because we’ve been sticking to a budget, mainly because we buy everything online these days. But we wanted to do a little “showrooming” on a lovely Saturday afternoon at Best Buy’s South Philadelphia store.

Some thoughts on our experience:

1. I can’t believe they still stock so many optical discs. Blu-rays and CDs possessed an astounding amount of floor space. Still. In 2013. I guess they’re selling.

2. The Best Buy salespeople have gone from “impossible to find” to “way too inquisitive.” We were approached unsolicited so many times that we had the distinct feeling that we were being watched the whole time we were in there. It was uncomfortable. We appreciated the availability of the salespeople, but the heavy come-on was a little creepy and intrusive. It’s a fine balance that a store like Best Buy must maintain, so kudos to them for erring on the side of too friendly as opposed to MIA, but still, let’s ease up a little.

3. There still aren’t nearly enough demos that work or make sense. Best Buy and its vendor partners could do a lot more to enlighten shoppers about the dizzying array of digital options available to them. It still feels overwhelming in there unless you have an idea of what you’re looking for.

4. A lot of customers, or rather visitors, were milling around, but relatively few seemed to actually be buying anything. The effects of showrooming. I guess the owners must hope that everyone in there will buy off BestBuy.com.

5. I love the headphones demo area, but I wish there were a more sanitary way to demo headphones. I’d love to hear some ideas.

So yeah, Best Buy. I’m glad it’s still there but sometimes I really wonder how much longer it will be.

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3 Comments

  1. Joe,
    So let me get this right. You want to use Best Buy as a Showroom but complain about their selection and demonstration facility when you plan on buying on-line. As far as the headphones are concerned some isopropyl alcohol and cotton pads will do the job. You can buy these on-line for $5.00- why would you want to support a local drug store and keep some of your neighbors employed when you can just press a button on your computer and save .50 cents

    Bradley Edwards
  2. Thank you Mr. Edwards. I could not have said it better myself. If Best Buy goes away….who will employee the THOUSANDS of retail associates in those locations. Will you Mr. Paone? Do you have any idea what thst could do to the industry? Please make up your mind, do you want to be helped or would you prefer to “showroom” endlessly without getting any help? I happen to like having an associate close by if I do have any questions. I also like to know that if I have an issue that I can go back to the store and return or exchange it and not have to wait for it to possibly arrive damaged or get stolen because it was left on my doorstep. Oh, and by the way, Best Buy will price match even Amazon.

    avboy1
  3. Thanks very much for your comments, Bradley and avboy1. I should have been much more clear about this: I don’t want Best Buy to go away. And I certainly don’t want anyone to lose their job. I just believe that Best Buy could use its personnel and its floor space in more effective, more enjoyable, more dynamic ways, especially given the fact that, every day, more and more consumers are less predisposed to go to a physical store — which is especially true with buyers of electronics. In my view, it needs to be more of an experience and less of a place with a gazillion products all over the place under one roof without a cohesive context. That’s what the internet is for. I wrote this post simply to share my gut reactions to the Best Buy shopping experience, as well as to encourage conversation around the topic (thanks for that!). What I saw at Best Buy made me worry for its long-term viability. So that’s my extra two cents on the subject… :-) What would your ultimate electronics store experience be like in 2013 and beyond?

    Joe Paone