As cross-channel browsing and buying behaviors continue to evolve, retailers can keep pace by delivering consistent and engaging experiences across all touch points. Providing up-to-date inventory information and other brand content is a vital asset to ensuring this consistency.
To keep shoppers and store associates better informed of its array of consumer electronics products and offerings, Best Buy Canada ― which markets its Best Buy and Future Shop brands across 225 stores ― partnered with Stibo Systems, a strategic information management technology and solution provider.
Best Buy Canada will use Stibo Systems’ STEP platform to strengthen e-Commerce and multichannel efforts for both brands by “presenting a rich experience that empowers customers to make the right decision,” Robert Pearson, VP of e-Commerce for Best Buy Canada told Retail TouchPoints.
“Our belief is that providing the most factual information possible will give us an edge in attracting customers to complete a purchase from us, versus one of our competitors,” Pearson said. “Today’s customers are empowered due to all the information they can find online, so we want to provide them with every detail they need to make an educated purchase.”
Moreover, with interactive technologies such as kiosks and tablets being used as self-service tools and digital extensions of store shelves, detailed and consistent product information is a necessity, Pearson explained.
By using Stibo Systems’ STEP platform, Best Buy Canada can guarantee all product information across channels is accurate and consistent, resulting in more educated consumers and helpful store associates.
Along with brick-and-mortar locations and e-Commerce sites for Best Buy and Future Shop, Best Buy Canada utilizes several strategies to keep pace with omni-channel retail. For example, all Best Buy Canada brand locations contain a store within the store, allowing more flexible buying processes. Through this model, consumers can order items online from Best Buy and Future Shop brands then pick them up at a nearby Best Buy or Future Shop location.
“Best Buy Canada is taking multiple measures to deliver an omni-channel experience for both of its brands,” Pearson stated. “This effort makes accurate information critical not only to the customer, but to the in-store experience and associates that absorb product information to assist customers effectively. We’re not blind to the fact that we have to adjust in-store operations by using new technology to integrate digital and physical shopping experiences. In a lot of ways, Stibo Systems’ solution is a critical support factor in the customer experience ecosystem that we’re building.”
The STEP platform was designed to offer retailers such as Best Buy Canada a flexible and integrated Master Data Management (MDM) solution, creating a single source for all SKU data as well as inventory photographs. Having this centralized source will allow Best Buy Canada to improve efficiencies, such as eliminating manual updates to data across channels, for example.
“Consumers today are accustomed to receiving information at a moment’s notice,” said Andreas Lorenzen, President of Stibo Systems. “While shoppers can seek advice from associates equipped with MDM technologies within brick-and-mortar locations, online shoppers must rely on search, product comparisons and other information-gathering strategies. That’s why it’s more important than ever for retailers to make accurate data available across all channels.”