Aiming to grab a greater share of sales from corporate customers, Minneapolis-based consumer electronics retailer Best Buy has launched a business-to-business catalog.
Best Buy in August mailed 400,000 copies of a 52-page catalog titled Best Buy for Business. Targeting home offices and small companies with fewer than 10 employees, the catalog sells computers, software, cables, and accessories from major manufacturers including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Sony as well as a smattering of consumer electronics.
According to director of business-to-business marketing Omer Artun, the $25.4 billion Best Buy’s move to attract business buyers includes retrofitting some “pilot” stores with business centers. Customers can order merchandise from the catalog, pick it up at the store, or return items there.
The catalogs were mailed into the areas of the pilot stores, including Chicago, California, and Washington, DC. In addition to merchandise, Artun says, the catalogs have “relevant and actionable” how-to content, with articles on the pros and cons of licensing software and “VoIP: Do I Need It?” The company’s b-to-b push, Artun says, was fueled by its acquisition of network and computer services firm The Geek Squad, a 24-hour computer support desk, in 2002.
In October the company plans on mailing a second catalog to target larger businesses. And to help in its efforts in catering to business customers, Best Buy is setting up a call center for inbound and outbound calls.
Best Buy is also planning to target the government/education market with a catalog once it completes the process for its General Services Administration (GSA) contract, Artun says. “That’s on the horizon in the next 18 months or so,” he says.