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Best Buy vs. Amazon

In this day and age, is it worth shopping at a brick and mortar store like Best Buy? 

To compete with online giants like Amazon, Best Buy rolled out their competitive “Renew Blue” campaign this past year that price-matches and is improving both the in-store and online shopping experience. But is that enough to compete?

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Since the campaign, Best Buy shares have been on the rise and customers seem generally pleased with the service. The retailer’s in-store sales have risen by about 2% this year. And CEO Hubert Joly said its Blue Shirt representatives are receiving high marks and making positive movements in closing sales.

If you want the item now for the lowest price, Best Buy price-matches.  But the limit is one item per person and you need to show proof of the lowest price from a select group of retailers.

Meanwhile, more and more people are shopping online and overall customer satisfaction for online shopping is up for a second year in a row, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and in first place among e-tailers: Amazon.

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Amazon’s patented one-click shopping experience makes it too easy to pass up, but Best Buy has made steps to close to the gap.  With a better search function, an option to pick up purchases in store, and a shorter checkout process, Best Buy has seen a 15% increase in online sales since last year.

It’s tough to compete with Amazon’s double-digit growth rates, but brick and mortar stores aren’t going away anytime soon and Amazon may even go that route with small boutique retail spaces where they can showcase their own proprietary products like the Kindle Fire.

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Bottom line: If you want your item in hand immediately, Best Buy is your best bet because you can test it in store and walk out with the lowest price. If you prefer to read reviews before you buy an item and enjoy one-stop shopping, Amazon is one click away.

Where do you prefer to buy your electronics?