Will Best Buy win Christmas with free shipping, setup and live chat?
Competitors from Amazon to Walmart are on notice. Best Buy is serious about growing its business over the upcoming holiday season with free shipping, special early sales events and improved service that others will be hard-pressed to match.
While free shipping has become table stakes over the past few holiday selling seasons, Best Buy is looking to get a head start with the offer kicking it off this Sunday and running through Jan. 2, 2016. There is no minimum order required to qualify for the offer on items sold by and shipped from the retailer. Last year, Best Buy required a $35 minimum for customers to qualify for free shipping.
Best Buy is upping the ante by offering free setup on some of the products on its top tech gift list. After purchasing a qualifying gift, Best Buy will give customers instructions on how to set up a one-on-one appointment with a member of its Geek Squad. Beginning on Nov. 1, the chain will publish a list of items on its site that qualify for free setup.
Best Buy’s top 15 tech gifts for 2015
2. Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones
4. Samsung 48" Smart 4K Ultra HD TV
5. Sharp 43" Smart HDTV with Roku
6. Microsoft Surface
7. Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II
8. Fitbit Charge HR Heart Rate and Activity Tracker
9. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
10. Dyson V6 Absolute Bagless Cordless Vacuum
11. Vizio 43" Smart 4K Ultra HD TV
12. Apple Watch
13. SONOS PLAY:1 Wireless Speaker
14. iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Robot
15. GoPro HERO4 Action Camera
Photo: Best Buy
Interestingly, five of the items on Best Buy’s list of top 15 tech gifts are among the favorite items that its customers have named for self-gifting purposes. These include the iPad (19 percent), Sharp 43" Smart HDTV with Roku (16 percent), Samsung 48" Smart 4K Ultra HD TV (15 percent), Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones (15 percent) and MacBook (15 percent).
Best Buy is also looking to push what it views as its service advantage with BlueAssist, a new live-chat feature in the company’s mobile app. Now, customers can get live assistance to answer questions about products, orders and more even if associates in the store are tied up with other customers.
As part of its campaign to capture shoppers for the holiday season well before Thanksgiving, Best Buy is also holding special sales events at 400 of its stores on Nov. 7 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. local time. The events will include special sale prices (applicable to all Best Buy stores), free tech gifts to the first 100 customers, entry into a Twitter sweepstakes to win one of five $1,000 Best Buy gift cards and robot and virtual reality tech demonstrations by members of the Geek Squad.
- Best Buy Consumer Survey Reveals Top Tech Gifts for Holiday – Best Buy/Business Wire
- Best Buy to offer free shipping on all purchases through holidays – Star Tribune
- Best Buy launches unrestricted free holiday shipping – The Associated Press/St. Paul Pioneer Press
- Black Friday Watch: Best Buy Offering Free Holiday Shipping Starting Sunday – TWICE
Do you expect Best Buy to have a strong holiday selling season based on the package of deals and services it has put together? What element of the program do you see as most critical to the chain’s success for the holidays and beyond?