DeVere Forster, managing director for online at Best Buy UK says the launch of the e-commerce site “marks a key milestone” for the business because it extends Best Buy’s UK presence nationwide.
The online move comes as its UK rivals Dixons and Comet ramp up their operations. Dixons launched a Star Wars-themed campaign to promote its megastores and Comet has launched a loyalty scheme and refreshed its branding and store environments.
The US chain launched its first UK store this May in Thurrock, Essex and now operates five of its electricals megastores in the UK. A further five stores are planned to open in 2011.
The retailer claims its e-commerce site will “incorporate the wealth of expertise and advice offered by Best Buy’s in-store team, as well as invite and involve the opinions and recommendations of consumers”.
As well as a transactional site BestBuy.co.uk will provide content designed to replicate the in-store service offered by its “Blueshirt” team of technical experts and guide consumers.
It includes 350 “Inspiration and Advice” guides, interactive video guides and “plain English” articles on the latest technology products to help consumers make the right purchase decisions.
The site also offers a community forum, blogs and a customer review section which allows users to submit video reviews.
The online site will offer Best Buy’s entire range at the same prices as its stores as well as extended ranges which shoppers can also buy in stores via kiosk ordering service.
Best Buy will also operate a click and collect service so that shoppers can order online and collect at a nearby store.
Until now, Best buy’s marketing has been localised to the locations of stores, but the online launch could mean the roll out of a national campaign to build brand awareness in the run up to Christmas.