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  (Source: allthingsd.com)
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: Good luck with that...
By Solandri on 10/14/2012 2:46:26 PM , Rating: 3
While I disagree with him that the minimum wage is responsible for poor customer service, he's absolutely correct that it's silly to insist that minimum wage should be a living wage. Defining the minimum wage to be a living wage is equivalent to saying that any job you can get paid for doing must be something you can make a living doing.

Think about that. You've basically priced trivial and mundane jobs (like paying kids to shovel snow off your sidewalk or mow your lawn) out of existence. If you don't have any skills which you can make a living doing, like kids fresh out of high school with no job experience, there are no jobs for you.

The important thing to realize is that money is not just some arbitrary measure of value. It's a representation of productivity. For a person to be paid a living wage, they must generate sufficient productivity equivalent to that needed to live (i.e. grow food, make clothing and shelter and transportation for themselves). If you try to get around this by redefining the value of money so that the most simple and mundane job now counts as enough productivity to live on, that doesn't mean the simple job really generates that much productivity. You've created a mismatch between the real amount of productivity and the measured (in dollars) amount of productivity. Reality will simply correct this mismatch by either decreasing the value of money (inflation) so that your defined minimum wage is no longer a living wage, or just making such jobs disappear.


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