Best Buy Struggling To Keep Its Antiquated Site Current

With a site that Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) has apparently dubbed "a throwback to the digital Dark Ages," the chain is struggling to merge operations in an effective fashion, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. It quotes Scott Durchslag, Best Buy's new senior vice president of digital and marketing, saying: "It's a 10-year time warp in some ways."

The story cites various examples of how the site's problems are impacting revenue. As for revenue, it has Best Buy in tenth slot among major sites, with BBY's $3.35 billion in annual E-Commerce revenue falling below Liberty Interactive's $4.3 billion, Sears' $4.2 billion and Netflix's $3.61 billion.

How bad is the site? "The site provides skimpy details on the gadgets for sale and it has fewer and less-informative customer reviews than are available at rival sites like Amazon," the Journal story said. "Best Buy's site can't customize merchandise recommendations for individual customers and, until recently, if a consumer searched for a high-end Nikon 5200 camera, would display a Nikon point-and-click camera instead."

One way that the chain has fought back has been lowering its online prices to match—but not better—rival pricing. (This is a baffler. If trying to fight against Amazon, why offer a product that screams "And you can keep this for the identical cost at Amazon, where you might be more comfortable?" For the price-comparison bots, you don't have to undercut Amazon by much to beat them in the lists.)

Best Buy says it has begun improving its website's basic functions, such as product searches, but warns that its more ambitious upgrades will take six months or more, the story said.

For more:
- See Wall Street Journal story

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