1. The key factors that lead to Best Buy’s success include: Growth in the consumer electronics retail sector and the internet boom: Constant growth in the demand for consumer electronics has grown over the previous decades which has supported Best Buy’s successful turnout into the top consumer electronics store. The internet also played a significant role in increasing the sales of Best Buy as it had already ramped up its computer product offerings prior to 1995.
The internet boom positively affected the consumer electronics industry in general. Knowledgeable sales staff: Best Buy’s salespeople did not work on commission which helped creating a low pressure shopping experience for the customers and built a consumer friendly environment. This also lead Best Buy to attract a well read sales force which would guide the customers to make the choices more customized to themselves and helped the buyers in decision making.
Also merchandise was arranged by brand name instead of by price range. Both of these were unusual practices in the superstore industry but worked well for Best Buy. Focus on customer service (Geek Squad): Best Buy’s belief in offering outstanding customer service through product warranties, personal services and at-home delivery helped Best Buy to differentiate itself from other competitors in the space. This also helped Best Buy in gaining trust and building a strong customer base.
Acquisition of the Geek Squad to service computers 24×7 differentiated Best Buy as an excellent product and service provider. Customer-Centricity: Target market segmentation by Best Buy’s Customer-Centric approach and extensive research and analysis of its customer base helps Best Buy in configuring its stores and training its work force to cater to the individual needs of its market segments which encourages customers to revisit for multiple purchases.
Also the approach to customize the store at times in terms of some local requirements helps Best Buy in increasing its sales significantly. Risks going forward include increased competition from other retailers and wholesalers like Wal-Mart , Costco, Target etc who also have a very strong distribution network and customer base. Best Buy has to decide whether to spend money on its sales force and customization strategies or to compete in terms of price with these other retailers especially in this low margin growing industry.
Best Buy also has to decide to enhance its online sales and product offerings in order to compete with the like of Amazon and Ebay in the online electronic sales market which is growing rapidly. Stores like Wal-Mart are growing tremendously fast in the retail segment and Best Buy has to compete with them in terms of opening new retail outlets as well. Another important risk Best Buy faces is investing in the international markets looking at the current economic scenario or to maintain strong hold in the local US market. . Looking forward Best Buy can compete against Wal-Mart and online companies in the following ways: Continuing to differentiate itself as an excellent customer oriented business Best Buy offers the latest technologies at its stores and to attract and hold customers who are technology savvy it is essential for Best Buy to dwell on its approach of customer service because in the space of advanced technology, nothing can replace the in store experience of actually interacting with knowledgeable salespersons.
Developing the online product offerings: Best Buy must also focus a little more on its online business in order to avoid being overtaken by Amazon and Ebay which are growing their business extensively. In order to keep up to its customer oriented approach, Best Buy must offer more detailed view of its product offerings than any other online competitor. It must increase its online product offering to a wider range and variety of products to grow in the online segment. Increase international presence:
At the moment, Best Buy is majorly dependent on the local US market. The international markets are growing fast and competitors like Wal-Mart are growing their business wide, therefore Best Buy must increase its international presence quickly to avoid losing out to its competitors in the international markets and also in order to hedge the risk of being completely dependent on the US market. Also labor expenses being less in a number of international markets, Best Buy can afford to maintain its excellent customer service and enhance its brand value.
SWOT Analysis for reference: Internal| Strengths| Weaknesses| 1. Strong market presence 2. Knowledgeable workforce 3. High quality technical support service 4. Strong financial performance 5. Financial resources to spend money on advertising ; promotion, introducing new products. 6. Increased market share and strong brand presence. | 1. Low margins 2. High dependence on local (U. S) market. 3. High costs of maintaining stores and employees. | External| Opportunities| Threats| . Growing global computer and electronics retail sector 2. Customer centric operating model 3. Expansion in the international consumer electronics retail market. 4. Strong private brand potential. 5. Failure of competitors like Circuit City ; CompUSA has opened gates to improve market share. 6. Online sales| 1. Rising competition from lower price outlets like Wal-Mart and Costco. 2. Online competitors like Amazon, Ebay. 3. Economic slowdown 4. Rising labor wages|
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