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Best Buy exec: Mobile enables more social shopping experience

November 18, 2009

mmf2LOS ANGELES – Digital has truly transformed the retail model, according to an executive from Best Buy, who discussed the company’s mobile strategy at the Mobile Marketing Forum.

Tiffany Gerhard, senior manager of marketing and emerging capabilities at Best Buy, said that mobile enables the shopping experience to be more social than ever before.

“The right information at the point of impulse increases desired consumers behavior, sales, profits and customer satisfaction,” Ms. Gerhard said.

“We view mobile as less of a tactic and more of an integrated effort to build a relationship and drive consumers in to our retail locations,” she said.

Best Buy works with MyThum Interactive to engage its consumers via mobile.

The retail giant is focused on mobile applications, mobile content and mobile advertising.

Best Buy launched its mobile commerce site October. The company is really big in the Mobile CRM space.

“This is the key area we are focused on to continue to engage and connect to customers,” Ms. Gerhard said.

Ms. Gerhard said that it is important to be respectful, interactive, engaging and social when using mobile to increase loyalty and customer satisfaction.

Best Buy’s mobile CRM objectives are to:

  • Bridge the physical and digital experience
  • Support local growth efforts
  • Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Create ongoing customer conversations

Best Buy gives consumers product information on demand. It places a mobile calls to action in its weekly print ads.

“Participation in the SMS product information program leveled off after heavy promotions in the Sunday ads and in-store,” Ms. Grehard said.

No only do consumers get product info on demand from Best Buy, but consumers can also text to buy.

Best Buy also supports local growth through store level mobile databases. Each store has its own keyword and creates relevant local promotions and offers for customers.

Each local store has its own local store page on the calls to action are there as well.

“We believe in sweepstakes and polls but we are trying to build out solutions that build on that customer conversation,” Ms. Grehard said.

Best Buy also uses mobile at the point of sale. Consumers can request information on demand, with a call to action on a product fact tag in-store.

Best Buy quietly launched a iPhone application for iPhone and iPod touch. Created by Slifter, the application, “Best Buy Gamers Club,” was released June 25 without much formal to-do.

Users are able to view product reviews right within the application, so it serves as a shopping assistant to those consumers that are in store and need information.

Not only are users able to get product information, but they can even search for the nearest Best Buy stores that have the product, since the application leverages the iPhone’s GPS capabilities.

Other features of the application include weekly deals, a personalized shopping list and Blue Shirt Picks, which are Best Buy staff favorites.

“We have polled our customers and they want offers on their phones,” Ms. Grehard said. 

“Mobile lets us bridge the physical and digital experience, support local growth efforts, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and create ongoing customer conversations,” she said.

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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One Response to “Best Buy exec: Mobile enables more social shopping experience”

  1. Dave Ury Says:

    Some great integrated marketing ideas from Best Buy. Question – it wasn’t clear how these tactics use social media or otherwise increase customer conversation. Were there any other details from Ms. Gerhard’s presentation?

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