Starting today, he will oversee all of the consumer electronics retailer's e-commerce channels, including BestBuy.com and mobile.
Right now, Best Buy is going through a period of flux. It has a brand new CEO in former hospitality exec and turnaround guy Hubert Joly, while founder Richard Schulze continues to try to buy back the company.
We spoke with Durchslag about his new job and what his vision is for e-commerce at Best Buy, and he told us the first three steps that he has to take to get things going.
The changes will not come in one big revamp, assured Durchslag. He used the word "breadcrumbs," explaining that he planned to make small changes and guide consumers through them the whole way so that they understand their value.
1) Develop a winning value proposition that takes into account the emerging behavior of consumers
Most importantly, this means price competitiveness, said Durchslag. Best Buy has to keep up with mammoth competitors Walmart and Amazon.
Then, you can "widen the dimensions" of that value. You can make things more convenient (such as scheduling delivery right on your mobile device in a store) so that customers have a reason to purchase right then and there.
"If they can trust the place, they're going to pull the trigger and buy it," said Durchslag. "If they're not sure about that, they're not going to make the leap of faith."
2) Fix the fundamentals
Best Buy needs to make everything in step one operate as seamlessly as possible, explained Durchslag.
For instance, BestBuy.com has room to improve. The site has to be reliable so that it can handle all the transactions that it needs to deal with, no matter what the conditions.
And then there's tons of opportunity for better relevance when browsing. Again, it's about making it easier for customers to interact with the site, he said. Also, on the website, all the shopping pages need to be simple and clean to the point that no customer will ever need an extra click to get what they want.
3) Build in layers of innovation in ways that are intrinsically mobile and social
Once you have those things in place, you have the opportunity to "really innovate to differentiate" in the mobile and social realms, said Durchslag.
Some examples are automatic, personally tailored recommendations on the website from Facebook Connect. When you go into a store, your device could welcome you, tell you how many rewards points you have and exactly what that entitles.
"How do we become the Netflix of consumer electronics? Offers about things you're most interested in and the time you're most interested in them," explained Durchslag. "These things are available to you in multiple ways in the stores. That's something nobody is doing right now."
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