Best Buy Talks Up Huge Buy-Online-Pick-Up-In-Store Figures

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn, fresh from licking his wounds after retreating from comments that the iPad is seriously eating laptop lunches, told financial analysts last Tuesday (Sept. 14) that a stunning 40 percent of all products purchased online are picked up in-store. Buy online pickup in store is absolutely popular. But for a major site like Best Buy's to have two out of every five customers willing to drive to the store is startling.

It could suggest that the site is proving less effective at bringing in new business and is instead being used as a convenience point for existing customers.

Dunn also told analysts that 60 percent of the chain's U.S. store sales "are influenced by customers' experience on Bestbuy.com." Given the vagueness of "influenced"—which could include word-of-mouth from a friend who visited the site, a price comparison site, seeing a demo or even a mobile check of hours—that's a much less interesting figure.

In the discussion, Dunn dropped an even more intriguing figure. He said that a full 50 percent of all Best Buy customers who purchase a high-definition television (HDTV) don't even have a high-definition signal at home. In other words, they're successfully selling a unit to customers who can't yet use it.

Not to worry, though. Best Buy then tries to sell the customer the necessary upgrade—through deals with carriers—and pockets a healthy commission.

"We now have representatives from carriers like Comcast, Time Warner and DIRECTV in 80 percent of our stores who can make that transaction happen on the spot. When we sign up a customer for a new subscription or upgrade, we get compensated, and we’ve seen very good growth in these sign-ups recently."

Dunn also reported that his chain's E-Commerce revenue grew 16 percent last quarter and that he saw an unspecified year-over-year marketshare boost. "Our dot.com business was a great complement to our stores," he said.

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