When big retailers get it wrong there’s often no running from the online consequences.
Best Buy was considered by many technology retailers to be revolutionary with how they combined simple social media channels with the passion and knowledge of their employees to create a tool that enabled them to position themselves as technology experts. But it’s no matter how good your story or brand positioning, it’s often the simplest of retail mistakes that can bring consumer confidence in your ecommerce channel crashing down around your Twelpforce.
After ramping up their online retail offers in an aim to capture some extra Christmas dollars from Amazon and Wallmart, it seems the world largest consumer-electronics retailer may have made a basic but damaging mistake – ‘don’t sell stuff you can’t deliver’. Over demand in some offers resulted in cancelling many orders after they had been purchased, leaving consumers disappointed, disgruntled and ultimately less time to find replacement gifts.
Obviously this mistake has been compounded by a countdown to Christmas, but in an age where consumers don’t differentiate a brands online store from their bricks and mortar stores, retailers need to realise that if you don’t have a product you can ship immediately consumer needs to know. They expect the experience to be even more seamless than walking into a physical store and walking out with a chosen purchase.
If you read some of the forums it’s obvious that confidence in the Best Buy’s online environment may take a while to return. But one thing is sure it will return and if the continued growth in online sales (Online revenue in the US grew by 20% in the last quarter) is any indication it will continue to play an essential role in the retailers marketing strategies.