Minneapolis - Best Buy has added a
third-party marketplace to its e-commerce site.
The addition of third-party sellers
-- a strategy that has also been employed by Amazon.com, Buy.com, Walmart and
Sears, among other merchants -- will expand Best Buy's online assortment by
about a third in time for the holiday selling season.
Offerings are "complementary" to
Best Buy's existing online assortment, the retailer said, and will be
integrated throughout BestBuy.com.
Buy.com is among eight initial
sellers within the Best Buy Marketplace, along with ANT Online, Beach Audio,
Cameta Camera, Electronic Express, Mambate, SF Planet and Wayfair. Each has "a
strong track record of superior customer service and satisfaction," the CE chain
said, while new sellers will be evaluated against a set of standards including
their tenure in business, overall customer satisfaction, order-cancellation
history and back-order history.
Best Buy did not disclose the
commissions and/or fees it charges its retail partners.
Items fulfilled by third-party
sellers are clearly indicated on the site, and share the same shopping cart and
checkout process as Best Buy inventory. Sellers handle shipment and returns,
and are responsible for collecting taxes where applicable.
Purchases are backed by a "Marketplace
Guarantee" to ensure customer satisfaction, Best Buy said. The guarantee is not
a product guarantee or warranty, but a commitment to work with the seller and "take
reasonable steps" to resolve product or service issues.
Purchases from Marketplace sellers
will also earn Best Buy Reward Zone loyalty points for customers.
"Best Buy Marketplace is a key development to
our multichannel platform," said CEO Brian Dunn. "As we continue to grow our
online business, Best Buy Marketplace is an element that enables consumers to
shop how they want and encourages additional reasons to visit and purchase at
John Thompson, senior VP and general
manager of online operations, added that "increased assortment of products,
brands and price points is exactly what people have told us they want," while
Neel Grover, president/CEO of Buy.com, said, "We're happy to be among the first
to open up new sales opportunities through this partnership with Best Buy."