Best Buy Launches Its Own Marketplace
Best Buy is following Amazon.com, eBay, Mastercard, Sears, Walmart and others in opening an online marketplace that gives consumers access to products from other merchants in addition to its own.
According to a Financial Times report, Best Buy is responding to the development of its unintended role as “Amazon’s showroom”, the situation where consumers visit the chain’s stores with smartphones to comparison shop and eventually make their purchases online.
CEO Brian Dunn, in a statement, called the Best Buy Marketplace “a key development to our multi-channel platform … that enables consumers to shop how they want and encourages additional reasons to visit and purchase at BestBuy.com.”
ANT Online, BeachAudio.com, Buy.com, Mambate, SF Planet and Wayfair are third-party sellers that are participating in the launch of the Best Buy Marketplace.
“We know that our customers shop with us today because they trust us to connect them with the perfect match for their technology needs,” said Ray Stacey, senior director of Marketplace at Best Buy, in a press release. “We’re adding an even deeper assortment of quality brands and a greater range of pricing options for our online customers.”
Participating companies offer complementary products to those sold by Best Buy and are responsible for shipping, returns and customer service. All item purchases, regardless of the seller, will be eligible for Best Buy Reward Zone points and the company has said it will not share payment information with others selling through its Marketplace.
Jeremy Brunelli, senior analyst at Consumer Edge Research, told the Financial Times that Best Buy faces an uphill battle because of the perceptions that its prices are higher than competitors and also because shoppers are used to visiting other marketplace sites.
“It’s going to be tough,” Mr. Brunelli said. “In this world of austerity, with consumers worried about their budgets, price is the most important thing.”
- Best Buy Launches New Online Marketplace Giving More Choice and Convenience to the Customer – Best Buy
- Best Buy Marketplace
- Best Buy launches rival online marketplace – Financial Times
- Best Buy unveils new third-party Marketplace – Reuters
Discussion Questions: What do you think about the Marketplace concept as envisioned by Best Buy? Do you expect it to effectively counter the “Amazon’s Showroom” activity?