How Mobile Plays a Major Role in Best Buy’s Omnichannel Experience

Content Manager

Considered a leader in omnichannel in the retail industry, Best Buy is using mobile technology to strengthen its omnichannel capabilities to provide an exceptional customer experience across all touchpoints.

“I think having a perspective on the customer experience you’re looking to create has to be the backbone of your omnichannel strategy,” said Alison Peterson, President of Ecommerce for Best Buy, in a presentation at ShopTalk. “Oftentimes it can be simpler to make small or operational innovations to drive toward your omnichannel strategy.”

When approaching an omnichannel strategy, mobile is the first thing Best Buy thinks about, Peterson said, because it’s where customers today are engaging with brands.

“I just read a statistic that said, over 70% of our digital engagement happens via the mobile phone, so I really don’t know how we don’t start there because that is where the customer is and what is where they’re engaging with our brands,” said Peterson. “When you think about that and you think about the way a customer shops from an omnichannel perspective, [mobile] is such an amazing asset to have to be able to make that experience easier for them and to solve some of those pain points and needs.”

Peterson said a mobile-first approach forces you from a design perspective to get really clear about what kind of problems you’re trying to solve and what kind of experience you want to create, making the end product “better, simpler and cleaner.”

In the last 18 months, Best Buy has focused on leveraging mobile technology to augment or improve the store experience.

“Customers are entering our stores now more empowered and knowledgeable than ever, whether they’re coming to discover or to shop or to buy,” he said. “We’re just trying to make it simpler for them.”

When a customer enters a store, Best Buy’s app goes into “store mode,” creating a personalized experience for the customer, including things like listing local inventory, providing product ratings or alerting to a store pickup.

In an effort to improve the store pickup experience, Best Buy launched “On My Way” which tells associates when a customer is coming to get their order. The functionality is being piloted on the store’s mobile app.

“Mobile technology has driven enormous improvements in (net promotor scores or NPS) and is something we’re really prioritizing,” said Peterson.

Of course, data plays a big part in the omnichannel strategy. Best Buy is engaging with customers, listening to them and watching at every touchpoint. Peterson said it uses NPS and other customer metrics to gauge how they’re meeting customer expectations.

“Our branding reaches customers whether it’s a blue shirt in our store, a Geek Squad agent in your home or on the phone with our call center or digitally with all of our touchpoints,” said Peterson.

Peterson said Best Buy has found that customers have very distinct needs and expectations on each channel, which is why it has designed different experiences based on the type of interaction.

Peterson said the transition to omnichannel informs everything Best Buy is doing in terms of experience design, and what they’re trying to enable.