Best Buy Offering Third-Party Retail Pick-up, Subscription Tech Service, Lease-to-Own Options

Entering the winter retail season, Best Buy is diversifying its consumer electronics footprint and contact points in an effort to meet changing consumer habits.

As previously reported, the nation’s largest CE chain is offering free next-day shipping on myriad items through Christmas — a practice launched by Amazon Prime earlier this year.

Indeed, Best Buy saw domestic online revenue increase 15% to $1.4 billion in the most-recent fiscal period. As a percentage of total domestic revenue, online revenue increased 15.6% versus 13.8% last year.

To better facilitate consumers’ schedules, the chain launched 175 alternate pick-up locations in areas where either store locations are not convenient or the ship-to-home option is not desired. Locations include UPS stores and CVS pharmacies in select markets. Best Buy is also offering curb-side delivery in New York.

“To build awareness of these expanded experiences, we have already kicked off a comprehensive local market marketing campaign that includes stores, train stations, billboards, digital and email,” CEO Corie Barry said on the Nov. 26 fiscal call. “Based on our data, we believe there is much uncapped opportunity to serve New York clients in their homes.”

Best Buy has expanded its in-home Geek Squad concept to subscription-based “Total Tech Support,” providing unlimited Geek Squad support for all household technology no matter where it was purchased.

A new pilot program includes router setup and installation, parental controls to manage every device on the network, a subscription to Microsoft Office 365, and 1 terabyte of cloud storage along with all the standard Total Tech Support benefits.

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“It continues to get strong customer reviews [2 million registered subs] and members spend more and are twice as likely to use other services than non-members,” Barry said. “We are building on this early success to continue to deliver more benefits our members are asking for.”

The chain has also borrowed from the rent-to-own market, rolling out a proprietary lease-to-own option on select big-ticket items. The option is now fully operational in 45 states, including California and New York.

Barry said that since bowing the program nationally in March, about 65% of lease-to-own consumers are either new to Best Buy or haven’t made a purchase in the last year.

“This provides another purchasing option in addition to our existing strong credit card offer allowing us to help customers make purchases they might not otherwise be able to,” she said.