Best Buy’s New Digital-First Store: Here’s what to Expect
Last fall, Best Buy shared how it was testing new store models in North Carolina and how the models work together to meet shoppers’ varied needs. On July 26th, 2020, the company introduced another interesting piece to that pilot – a digital-first store. According to Best Buy, this small box store concept will change how consumers shop for the items on sale.
This is a deviation from the firm’s big box stores, which are often 35,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet in size. Best Buy has experimented with smaller-format stores in the past years, but they were closed down in 2018. Mainly located in shopping malls, these stores were even smaller in size with an average square footage of less than 2000.
How the digital-first store works
This new 5,000-square feet store features a curated selection of Best Buy’s expert services clients know and appreciate, like Geek Squad, best-in-category products, and more effective ways for shoppers to pick up their tech. At the same time, the company is prioritizing a new digital-first shopping experience that encourages shoppers to do everything from the shop, choose the products they want, and get professional advice digitally while in the shop.
Indeed, this is one more way Best Buy continues to invest in avenues to better serve their clients’ needs in an ever-advancing digital world and create a seamless shopping experience.
Advantages to Shoppers
Customers will have more ways to shop and get their products, including the newly installed pickup lockers located outside the store for round-the-clock pickups. Best Buy is also piloting a new shopping experience done digitally completely. At the entrance, customers will be greeted by a digital display that shows them the new store’s capabilities and how they can have a better shopping experience in the store.
Demos are a crucial part of this new store format, and according to the company, shoppers can try most of the available products before purchasing them. Like Apple Stores, consumers can buy items from the show floor. There’s an option to use mobile devices to scan the QR code on the product price tag at the shop. Once done, a company associate gets a notification to prepare the item and delivers it to the designated pickup counter.
This digital-first store allows shoppers to use the Best Buy app to scan the product bar codes and use the self-checkout option (on mobile) to complete their product purchases. Remember, this option is available on most grab-and-go items, such as cell phone cases, charging cables, and more.
Customer advice will also come digitally. That means shoppers who need help from one of the store’s experts can shop live while engaging with the company’s virtual store via video, call, or chat. If the shoppers prefer in-person professional advice and assistance, Blue Shirt associates will be ready to help.
When shopping inside the store, shoppers will notice the new store is much smaller than Best Buy’s traditional giant stores. However, they can expect the same excellent experience and service. For instance, they can find a curated selection of all ‘best-in-category’ products, Geek Squad & consultation services areas, and various ways to get the tech they love.
With a minimal footprint, the company can now focus on a limited selection of the ‘best-in-category’ items that span various segments such as computing, home theatre, audio, headphones, cell phones, smart home, wearables, small appliances, cameras, and more. Unfortunately, this new digital-first store in Charlotte won’t carry major electrical appliances. However, shoppers can order these appliances online and pick them up in the Charlotte store.