When customers are asked to compare between shopping through the Internet or shopping at a retail store, the answer is always conclusive. They rather shop at a retail store than the Internet. Why would customers prefer shopping at a retail store? Is it because they do not trust the Internet? Is it because the store is a more rewarding and profitable experience? This may all be true but I believe that many retailers are using the Internet as a means to get customers to visit their stores. In my paper I will compare Internet and store marketing strategies using Best Buy as an example .
Statistics prove that a better shopping experience is directly proportional to repeat business, therefore, I visited both Best Buys website and the store to compare my shopping experience. My goal was to find enough evidence by comparing concrete criteria to determine which one was a better shopping experience the Internet or the store experience. I have separated my findings into four general categories: Product Pricing & Selection, Promotions (Special Offers), Marketing Communication and Customer Relationship Marketing,.
Pricing & Selection.
I randomly selected ten different Best Buy products from different departments to eliminate bias (e.g. any possibility of promotional discounts directed by an specific department manager). I selected the following products a Sony Camcorder, Toshiba 50" Wide screen TV, Vitech Expandable Phone System, GE Smooth top Range, Samsung DVD Player, Compaq Notebook Computer, MAG 18" Flat Panel Monitor, Sony VAIO Desktop computer, Epson Color Jet Printer, and a Casio Pocket Manage (See Appendix ).
In order to be consistent, I selected products with the same features in the Internet and in the store. I found that at "first glance" (I will explain later) prices were the same in both the Internet and in the store; however, the benefits posted were explained more thoroughly on the website than in the store postings.