Jan 22, 2011

Close Encounter with "Best Buy On": Example of a multi-channel marketing approach using in-store digital media that includes an on-line magazine.

Over the next 9 months or so,  I'll be in the market for a computer, an iPad or something similar, a Kinect, and maybe a mid-size Internet-enabled HDTV.  As a consequence,  I turned in to  a Best Buy on my way home from work Friday to see what I could find.  I didn't want to spend much time at the store, since I'm the type of shopper who goes in, finds the desired item(s), and leaves.  


During this trip to Best Buy, my shopping habits were broken, at least temporarily.  I found myself wandering around, looking at the numerous displays of all sizes located about the store.  The displays distracted me from my intended mission.  Below is a slideshow of the pictures I snapped as I wandered about Best Buy:





As a result of the displays,  I spend more time in the store than I'd planned. I left the store empty-handed.  But that is OK, since I think that this strategy, in the long run, will have the power to entice me back to the store and leave knowing that I've made an informed purchase.


According to Gail Chiasson in her Daily DOOH post,"Best Buy's New In-Store Network", Best Buy established an internal advertising and editorial team in 2009, and officially launched a multichannel network called Best Buy On, which extends the in-store network of displays, to the online magazine, also called Best Buy On .   Best Buy On focuses on different theme each month. This month's theme featured all of the cool things that were unveiled at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. 


The bottom line with in-store DOOH is that customers are provided with with enhanced information about various products in each department, and this information is coordinated with the enhanced information they can access on-line.  Put together, this might lead to better sales,  and happier repeat customers in the long run.  


As I went about Best Buy,  I thought that it would be better if the in-store network of displays was less disjointed.  I also was puzzled by the somewhat inconvenient placement of some of the displays.  People who stand in the middle of an aisle to look at a screen block the view of the screen and the other items on display, and also block the paths of other shoppers!


Although I didn't spend a lot of time scrutinizing the content on all of the screens I encountered, what I did look at gave me the impression that there is need for improvement.  Pretty multimedia content might be attractive to the eye, but if it doesn't  meet the needs of customers in specific departments, it might not be effective.  


Here is a personal scenario:
My 80-year-old mother needs a new laptop and would also like to find an eReader that is suitable for someone her age.  She needs a new printer and is thinking about getting a digital camera.  She has some money to spend, but from what I can tell, she'd be a little confused by all of the flashing screens!  


I'm not sure what my mother would make of the displays, especially those that run animated comments about products from Facebook fans!


(Note:  I plan to go with my mom to Best Buy soon, and I'll share this experience on this blog in the future.)


Although there is room for improvement, the Best Buy On approach is a start.   I would like to see more touch-enabled displays as part the in-store network, given the fact that Best Buy sells touch-screen gadgets, tablets, and all-in-one PCs.   The large-screen touch-enabled displays could provide customers with an Amazon- like advisory feature.  This is something that would be very helpful to my mom and other non-geeks.


Best Buy also needs to get the Kinect demo up and running!


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What is Best Buy On?  (Description of on-line magazine)
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Buy Back Program from Best Buy Helps "Future-Proof" Today's CE Purchases
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