Last 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.