Amazon really turned the retail industry upside down and even now major competitors from physical companies are still trying to catch up. One of Amazon’s biggest weapons is the Prime association, and its advantages and rivals are still trying to offer customers something similar. After Walmart + itself from Walmart, Best Buy is now testing its own paid subscription program, but with a more “human” touch to differentiate it from Amazon Prime.
Right now, it’s almost useless to compete with the advantages of Amazon Prime when it comes to pricing and delivery of goods. Not that Walmart or Best Buy is unable to offer whatever Amazon offers, just that they may not be able to offer more than that. Best Buy, however, seems to think it can by adding a human element to its premium service.
The pilot program called Best Buy Beta offers the usual exclusive discounts, fast and free shipping and other shopping benefits you can expect from a retail-oriented subscription service. In addition, however, it is also offering services such as exclusive concierge support, free home installation on most products and unlimited technical support from its famous Geek Squad.
It is questionable whether these advantages can really drive the success of the Best Buy Beta, but it highlights something that is often taken for granted. Not everyone who buys new products, mainly technological and electronic, may not have the know-how to navigate the installation and use of these devices. What Best Buy Beta practically offers is not just convenience, but also some guarantee of human support.
This, however, is priced higher than the others, with the premium subscription costing $ 199.99 a year. It is currently only available in select stores in Iowa, Oklahoma and eastern Pennsylvania, but is planned to expand to Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee this month.