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Monday, September 06, 2021

Best Buy to Do a Virtual Store

Useful to test the concept, and build versions of it to test with consumers.  

Best Buy builds a virtual store to assist customers remotely   by Matthew Stern

Distribution centers have taken on a more important role in retail as e-commerce ordering has dramatically expanded. Best Buy is now using one of its distribution centers not just to fulfill orders, but to engage with customers virtually.

On its second-quarter conference call, Corie Barry, CEO, said the chain will be piloting a “virtual store” in a distribution center leading up to the holidays.

“We are building out a physical store in one of our distribution centers that will have merchandising and products and will be staffed by dedicated associates, including vendor-provided expert labor, but it will have no physical customers,” said Ms. Barry. “Instead, customers can interact with our experts via chat, audio, video and screen sharing depending on their preference and be able to see live demos, displays and physical products.”

She added, “We are excited about the customer use cases this provides. For example, you could be on our dot-com experience, click on a product you like and be connected via video to a Blue Shirt in the Best Buy virtual store and never leave your living room. Or you could be standing in a store, scan a barcode and be taken through your phone directly to this virtual store where an associate could answer your question.”  ... ' 

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