Seattle — Best Buy will continue to invest in its online and mobile commerce capabilities with the opening this spring of a digital development center, here.
The 32,000-square-foot sublet facility will be located on the top floor of The Seattle Times headquarters building, and will eventually house more than 100 engineers, product managers, web architects and developers.
The team will focus on mobile, private Cloud and omnichannel app development, and will supplement the work of the e-commerce and enterprise IT crews at Best Buy headquarters in Minneapolis.
The goal, the company said, is to leverage digital technology to drive a comprehensive customer experience and growth across all sales channels.
“Establishing this development office is significant for BestBuy.com,” said Mary Lou Kelley, the retailer’s e-commerce president. “The work done in this office will lead the transformation of the omnichannel experience for our customers.
She added: “We intend for our colleagues in this office to drive breakthrough innovation at incredible scale, for the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer.”
Best Buy currently employees over 150 full-time e-commerce engineers and product managers and several hundred contract workers in Minnesota. Over the past two years the group has used Cloud technologies and practices to support increased scale and the rapid growth of e-commerce traffic from mobile devices, and successfully deployed an OpenStack Cloud internally.
The effort is part of president/CEO Hubert Joly’s two-year-old “Renew Blue” turnaround strategy, which recognized that Best Buy’s future lies in omnichannel, but that it dramatically lagged its competitors in online investment and key e-commerce metrics.
In due course, the company:
* replaced its e-commerce platform and 10-year-old search function;
* expanded the online assortment;
* added dynamic product recommendations and location-specific product offers;
* made it easier to attach Geek Squad services;
* increased the number of customer product reviews;
* improved the mobile site and provided a consistent browsing experience across all devices;
* developed a “buy online, ship from store” capability to reduce e-commerce out-of-stocks;
* added in-store clearance, open-box and returned items to the e-commerce assortment;
* created more dedicated warehouse space for online inventory; and
* increased its amount of targeted digital marketing.
The initiatives have contributed to double-digit online sales gains in recent quarters, although the company trailed Amazon.com, Apple and Walmart in online CE sales in 2013, according to TWICE’s Top 20 CE E-tailers Report.