Best Buy Builds Out Membership Program
"We’ve learned a tremendous amount from our members over the last couple of years, especially that different customers value very different benefits when it comes to their technology,” said Patrick McGinnis, SVP of memberships at Best Buy. “Creating these new membership options allows us to be there for all of our customers in the ways that are most important to them.”
In an earnings call last year, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry outlined broader plans to switch up the retailer’s interactions with its customers, focusing more on digital experiences and reimagining the role of brick-and-mortar stores. At the time, company leaders said digital engagement with customers remained very high, with online sales as a percentage of domestic sales being 31%, still twice as high as pre-pandemic levels.
Retailers Lean into Loyalty
Loyalty programs are recognized as a powerful way to personalize shopper experiences, gather valuable first-party data, and create a frictionless consumer experience. However, there are signs of trouble ahead for retailers looking to bolster their subscription or loyalty models, as rising inflation costs and changing consumer expectations combine to create a competitive and complex environment in which to retain loyal members. This drop in discretionary spending has a particular impact on retailers such as Best Buy, with consumers watching their wallets and shoring up cash for essentials in favor of electronics or other luxury items.
Delivery-time expectations, for example, have changed dramatically. According to Gartner’s Consumer Priorities 2022 Survey, shipping benefits are the third most preferred loyalty benefit that consumers want, as more consumers turn their attention to on-time delivery, stock-outs, accurate order fulfillment, convenient returns, and more.
In response, retailers as channeling efforts into the technologies: RIS’ 2023 Retail Technology Study found that 19% of retailers are investing in technology to accelerate fast, flexible shipping and fulfillment capabilities.