Best Buy’s Strategy to Combat Showrooming? Embrace It


The act of “showrooming,” or visiting stores to check out products and then ordering them online, has been a killer for big-box retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy. The problem has affected both ends of the retail spectrum; Williams-Sonoma recently announced its battle plan to combat it this year. And now Best Buy is taking the problem head-on its new slate of commercials aimed at holiday shoppers.

This marks the earliest Best Buy has started airing holiday ads, but it “seemed to be the right competitive thing to do,” Scott Moore, senior VP-marketing, told Ad Age. Moore noted that the media expected showrooming to all but kill off the retailer, particularly when it lost $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter last year and when online competitors like Amazon began feeding the trend. But things have been looking better for the electronics retailer.
But this year, Moore and his colleagues are hoping that embracing the concept of showrooming will prove to be a good thing for Best Buy. “The thing about showrooming is it’s not the ideal experience to do research at home, go to the store, do more research, then hit pause, go home and order and hope it arrives on time,” he said. “There’s a better way.”

That “better way” is featured in its new ad campaign, “Your Ultimate Holiday Showroom,” which “highlight the experience consumers get at Best Buy—online and in-store,” Ad Age reports. Some of the featured concepts shown off by such celebs as Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, LL Cool J and Jason Schwartzman include in-store pickup as well as the brand’s “low price guarantee.”

Target is waiting for November to hit before it starts running its holiday-themed ads, but it too is taking a different approach to entice consumers, focusing more on its low prices than the the various degree of brand names offered. Still worried about losing ground to some tech retailers, the Minneapolis Star Tribune says that the retailer is experimenting in its electronics department by giving customers more of an ‘Apple-like’ experience in which it emphasizes “interaction with products at a number of its stores.”