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Amazon Almost Killed Best Buy. Then, Best Buy Did Something Completely Brilliant (inc.com)
26 points by Osiris30 41 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments

Employee discounts, but what about commission sales?

A few years ago, I bought a well reviewed sound bar in the mid price range on Amazon. It sounded awful and I packed it up and sent it back.

I did more research and decided to spend 3x as much on a premium soundbar, as long as the audio quality was better than the cheap one- so I had to hear it first.

Local Best Buy website showed the model I was interested in in stock, so I went in.

The demo unit wasn't working, nor were the other models I may have considered. The employee I asked about this just shrugged his shoulders and walked away- and couldn't answer any other questions about the unit.

I had walked in, cash in hand, with intention to buy on the spot. I walked out empty handed and went back to Amazon.

Retail's differentiator should be seeing products hands on, and sales assistance from real people. Once Amazon nails immediate gratification, it's all retail will have left.

I don't see how adding an employee discount saved Best Buy from Amazon. Unless they're saying there's that much downstream impact from employee happiness that brought that many more customers to Best Buy to shop.

That said - do agree there's room for both players in the game, Best Buy and Amazon.

The employee discount wasn't the only reason from the article. There are a few cited. However, one of the few perks of working a retail job is that the workers tend to get some sort of discount on the products. Its a small token of appreciation, and yet has a two fold advantage:

makes your employees happier

encourages them to buy things at the store and use them, so they can in turn sell them and be more knowledgeable.

Taking away the employee discount may seem to be mostly innocuous, but it can really crush morale and accerlates employees skipping to the next job.

Amazons retail success is largely about shipping.

Amaz used items which are usually just damaged packaging are great and then come close or beat everyone on price. Depends on the item. BBs open box prices are imo pretty good.

Makes sense appliances would be strong. Buying a dishwasher is not like buying a laptop. It helps to go into the store. They should buy whats left of Sears at least to get the customer list and card members.

Best Buy just doubled down on the physical in-person experience. Adding in the mini apple/other branded centers only further that and make money. Also having employees that actually enjoy the work and are well trained makes the experience far superior to any competitor.

Right on. It makes me happy just walking in the door at Best Buy.

Eventually, when Amazon has little competition, I expect their prices to go up. Also, Amazon will show different prices to different customers - they know enough about customers to fine tune what to charge.

Huh. Article won't load for me in HN app or in Chrome. Maybe incompatible with traffic filters?

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