Just a few years ago, Best Buy looked like it was on its way to failure, especially as its competitor Circuit City filed for bankruptcy in 2008. The company has since turned itself around and is even considered an undervalued stock at times. A big part of the turnaround was due to CEO Hubert Joly’s “Renew Blue” program, implemented three years ago. However, L2 data shows digital investment played a big role in preserving and improving the company’s value.
Ranked No. 3 (of 61 brands) and Gifted in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box, Best Buy has had some of the best investments in branded video content, UGC, diverse fulfillment options and highly targeted email campaigns. Best Buy’s vendor shops are some of the most sophisticated in its class, with high-quality imagery, calls to action, links to support, and branded video. The Apple Shop, for example, provides a direct link to Apple Pay and the Go-Pro shop combines high-quality UGC with branded videos to incentivize purchases. A comparison chart allows user to compare features of various GoPro devices at a glance.
Although many Big Box brands are investing in video content, fewer are running video ads due to their high cost. Best Buy is one of seven brands (in addition to Walmart, Home Depot, Sears, Lowe’s, Target, and Kmart) responsible for 62% of total unique video ads placed across the Index during the observation period.
But not all of Best Buys’ advertising methods rely on big budgets. The brand unleashed the power of its large customer database – called Athena – during the 2015 school year. Instead of sending back-to-school promotions to its entire database as it had done in the previous year, Best Buy used Athena to identify students and parents based on shopping records. Then Best Buy sent this group emails with relevant back-to-school products. Even the messages sent to those parents were differentiated; Athena enabled Best Buy to discover which groups were more interested in savings, technical features, models, colors, and cases.)
Best Buy has also made omnichannel investments to connect these digital investments to stores. It is one of three brands in L2’s Index (in addition to Target and CVS Pharmacy) to work with the Curbside mobile app, which allows users to shop online and pick up at the store without leaving the car.