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Best Buy Plans To Better Serve Business Customers In Stores

8/15/2007 12:01:00 PM Eastern

Minneapolis — Best Buy is reaching out to business customers through a series of initiatives intended to improve their shopping experiences.

The retailer’s plans include a new product-labeling system designed to identify business-grade products, training specially selected store employees to assist business customers and extending its Best Buy for Business Reward Zone program.

According to Best Buy, business customers make up as much as 10 percent of its overall store traffic; the company said its research showed that more than 3.4 million business customers shopped at Best Buy last year.

“Business customers have been walking in and out of our stores for years without receiving specialized attention or fully understanding how the various products in our store can work together to improve their businesses. That’s going to change,” said David Hemler, president, Best Buy for Business. “We are taking steps to identify business customers, help direct them to the products and solutions they need for their businesses, and reward them through our loyalty program.”

This month Best Buy will begin to mark its business-grade products with a “Professional Series” label. According to the company, the labels will appear on business products on retail shelves, on in-store signage, on BestBuy.com and in the retailer’s weekly advertising insert.

Initially, the labels will appear on notebook computers and networking equipment, but the company plans to extend the label to printing products, GPS and navigational equipment, digital cameras, storage products and mobile and landline phones over the next six months. In order to qualify for the Professional Series label, Best


Best Buy For Business Partners With Independent Solution Providers

Minneapolis — Best Buy’s Best Buy for Business division is finishing up a trial next week of a program that Chris Mauzy, director of business for Best Buy for Business, said is being designed to build a “collaborative selling environment” between Best Buy and local independent A/V and IT solution providers nationwide.

Buy said the product must “fulfill a variety of category-specific criteria and features designed to alleviate common business pain points.”

In addition to its labeling initiative, the retailer’s Best Buy for Business division will also train a selection of store employees to help business customers while they shop and to make them aware of other business resources available from Best Buy. These specially trained employees will be known as “Business Ambassadors.”

Best Buy’s plans also include expanding its Best Buy for Business Reward Zone program so that all Best Buy business customers can benefit from it. Previously, only business customers shopping the Best Buy stores with Best Buy for Business locations in-store had access to the program. According to the retailer, the program provides business customers with the opportunity to earn more than twice as many reward points, depending on their level of spending, as the company’s traditional Reward Zone program.

Best Buy also mentioned in a release that “business customers in certain markets will have the opportunity to develop an on-going relationship with a Best Buy for Business employee outside of the store who has expertise in business consulting and solutions.” A spokesperson for the company explained that it has an outside sales force in 119 markets and that the members of that sales force are trained to visit businesses and help them to evaluate their needs and then to direct the customer to the right sector of the company that will be able to help them meet those needs.

These initiatives are only a part of Best Buy’s recent moves to cater to small to medium business customers. The company is also about to complete a pilot program in which it is partnering with local independent A/V and IT service providers nationwide to provide more advanced services and solutions to these customers than it could previously.

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