Deep Dive Into the Retail Personalization Index Top 10: Best Buy

1983 was a landmark year for technology. ARPANET officially changed to use the Internet protocol, creating the Internet as we know it today. Motorola introduced mobile phones to the public. Nintendo debuted Mario Bros. And Sound of Music, a small chain of stereo equipment stores in Minnesota, rebranded as Best Buy and expanded its offerings to include all consumer electronics.

Number 72 on the Fortune 500 list, Best Buy now has more than 1,000 locations throughout North America, all of which are staffed with product experts — the Geek Squad — who can help answer questions and aid in purchase decisions. The brand’s digital channels work similarly, with artificial intelligence-enhanced search functions, as well as extensive filters and comparison features. For example, Find the Perfect Laptop shows side-by-side comparisons based on specifications, reviews, availability and promotions.

Availability and promotions vary, and Best Buy’s website is localized to consumers’ nearest (or preferred) store. Similarly, when an app user walks into a store, the app enters local store mode, sending relevant push notifications and tailoring the experience around that location’s inventory. An integrated omnichannel experience is particularly important for Best Buy. Since 2012, the brand has doubled its ecommerce sales, 40% of which are picked up at brick-and-mortar stores. With the app, BOPIS shoppers can mark themselves “on my way,” alerting employees, who then streamline the pick-up process.

What makes Best Buy so good at this? The company built a customer database with more than 12,000 attributes. It informs every aspect of the customer journey, helping the brand create highly targeted marketing. More importantly, the database has millions of unified profiles, resulting in a consistent customer experience on any channel. That means relevant recommendations onsite and in emails, which change over time and factor in website activity. It also means that when you talk to tech support on the phone, they’ll know who you are and which electronics you’ve purchased, simplifying the call.

Amazon’s top category is electronics so Best Buy could have easily been devoured by the ecommerce giant. A strong connected experience helped Best Buy survive and thrive, keeping Amazon at bay and its customers content.

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