Why Best Buy Shouldn't Even Try To Match Amazon's Prices

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Best Buy matched the prices of its online competitors, including e-commerce steamroller Amazon, for the holiday season this year.

But that's not what it should be doing, according to Harvard Business Review's Maxwell Wessel.

"It is rather easy to say what the big box electronics store shouldn't do — namely, match match Amazon's prices," he wrote.

"Right now, Best Buy is attempting to protect its customer population and increase its sales by taking a low cost strategy against a company fundamentally advantaged in low cost sales."

So, how can Best Buy survive?

"To survive their disruption, Best Buy should be looking for opportunities to optimize their business model around the jobs that Amazon can't do for customers," wrote Wessel.

Here are a bunch of ideas that Wessel proposed:

  • Offer exclusive products for customers who are scared of buying a product without seeing it in person first
  • Become the retail distribution point for products launched and funded through Kickstarter 
  • Charge equipment manufacturers for showroom space
  • Invest enough in service so that it offers in-store help that's better than anywhere else
  • Focus more on last-minute needs that no delivery network can match


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