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Only about 40 percent of Best Buy shoppers leave the store with a purchase in hand, but the retailer wants to bump this percentage up a bit this holiday season

Brick-and-mortar retailers have been battling with online stores for years, but Best Buy is looking to reclaim a place in shoppers' hearts (and wallets) this holiday season with online price matching and free home delivery.

Best Buy announced that it will match the prices of online competitors like Amazon in order to attract more customers. This is huge for Best Buy, considering it has lost a significant amount of business to Amazon alone. With e-tailers like Amazon, customers can shop from the comfort at home, receive lower prices and quick delivery.

But Best Buy isn't betting on price matching alone. It's heating up the competition with free home delivery of products that are out-of-stock as well.

Right now, only about 40 percent of Best Buy shoppers leave the store with a purchase in hand, but the retailer wants to bump this percentage up a bit this holiday season.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to increase that close rate," said Matthew Furman, Best Buy spokesman.

Best Buy isn't alone in its holiday efforts to beat Amazon. Wal-Mart is currently testing a same-day delivery service for customers that who buy popular items off of the Wal-Mart website during the holidays. Toys "R" Us is another brick-and-mortar that is working to speed up delivery and offer price matching -- however, its price matching will not include Amazon, only brick-and-mortar competitors.

An interesting aspect of the holiday season is that a growing number of shoppers have started using brick-and-mortars for showrooms -- or checking out products in person -- then going home to buy the products online.

While this is another hurdle that brick-and-mortars must overcome, strangely, they're embracing this model.

"Let's be the best showroom," said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart CEO. "Let's be the best place where customers want to go and get the experience."

According to the brick-and-mortar stores, they can still offer things that Amazon can't. For instance, human customer service and options for purchase like online and brick-and-mortar stores. They added that Amazon now must collect sales tax in many U.S. states, so prices are not quite as low on the site as before.

To further hinder Amazon's sales, Wal-Mart and Target have stopped selling the e-tailer's Kindle Fire tablet.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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RE: Its a good start...
By DiscoWade on 10/13/2012 7:33:38 AM , Rating: 2
I would be willing to pay slightly more if the customer service was good. The answer to the store's financial woes is to, not compete on price, but make shopping there a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, by the time a business gets as big as Best Buy it is run by people who degrees but no real world business experience. My local Best Buy, one that had to go, had the best customer service of any Best Buy I've been in. To this day, I'm convinced it was shut down because the store didn't sell enough "black tie plans". You buy a computer, they would ask once and only once if you wanted the extended warranty. A Best Buy 30 minutes away, a store I've walked into and been the only customer in the store, was not a pleasant experience. The store with less customers and terrible customer support stayed open; my local one that was pretty busy and had non-pushy employees closed.

The problem is the management. You can't fix it until you get management who understands what customer support is.

RE: Its a good start...
By FITCamaro on 10/13/2012 10:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah when I worked there in high school and college, I was one who only wanted to sell the customer what they wanted. Sure I'd ask if they wanted the protection plans (granted back then they could actually be worth the money depending on the product) or a battery backup (worked in PC department and in Florida it was a worthwhile investment given all the lightning). But only once. If they said no, I'd move them on and go help the next person.

I was far from the best salesman in the department because I actually knew what I was talking about so I'd actually answer questions about products rather than just push sales. Other guys who sold more wouldn't tell people the difference between AMD and Intel chips (big differences back then at the start of the P4 days) and SD, DDR, and Rambus memory. It was all sales for them.

"Which is the best one?"

"That one" (while pointing at the more expensive one)

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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