Will Best Buy increase gadget sales with a try-before-you-buy offer?
Best Buy is looking to reduce buyer’s remorse and drive sales of open box items with a new program that allows customers to rent gadgets on a short-term basis before making the decision to buy them outright.
Beginning later this month, BestBuy.com will begin advertising a program giving customers the option to rent open box items such as audio equipment, cameras, fitness trackers and smartwatches.
Those interested in the try-before-they-buy offer will be directed to Lumoid, a site launched in 2014, which allows consumers to rent up to five items at a time. Once a decision has been made on what to keep, consumers use the supplied return label to ship back unwanted items. For those items they keep, consumers get to deduct 20 percent of their rental subtotal and apply it to the final purchase price.
Best Buy benefits from the program by moving gadgets that, after being purchased by customers, were later returned. Since Best Buy is unable to sell these items at full price, working with Lumoid to create trial should, at least in theory, lead to more sales. (Best Buy will not be offering drones in this program even though Lumoid does so on its site.)
Lumoid’s founder, Aarthi Ramamurthy, told Engadget that wearables have the highest rate of consumers moving from rental to purchase with one in three making the decision to buy after trial.
According to a Recode report, the chain also sees the service as a way to connect with customers earlier in the discovery process, which could help give Best Buy a leg up on rivals including Amazon.com.
- How does Lumoid work? – YouTube
- Best Buy’s new weapon against Amazon: A try-before-you-buy option – Recode
- Best Buy will let you rent gadgets before you buy them – Engadget
- Why Buy a Digital Camera When You Can Rent? – Recode
- Lumoid launches a try-before-you-buy service for wearables – VentureBeat
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Best Buy find success moving open box inventory through its relationship with Lumoid? Will the program provide Best Buy with an edge in reaching consumers earlier in their shopping journeys?