Ah, the world of retail! A world where oftentimes the lines between innovation and mimicry blur to the point where it becomes hard to know where one begins and the other ends, and whether that distinction should even matter at all.
Best Buy Drops is an innovative move from Best Buy to leverage its mobile app and entice shoppers with exclusive deals. Best Buy Drops encompasses a broad array of product categories, such as gaming, wearables, and smart home devices, all of which are available for a select time exclusively through the Best Buy App, and with the hope or aim of injecting urgency and exclusive appeal into Best Buy’s holiday sales strategy, according to Chain Store Age.
What Sets Best Buy Apart
Has this idea been done before? Yes, but not like this.
While akin to models previously leveraged by retail giants like NikeNKE -0.2% and AmazonAMZN +0.2%, Best Buy Drops offers a compelling example of how good old-fashioned imitation can get plussed up when a smart company takes an idea and makes it even better.
With Best Buy Drops, Best Buy is, yes, tailoring a well-trodden path but doing it to its own distinct beat, fashioning a concept that melds urgency with strategic product promotions during the pivotal holiday selling season. The intriguing aspect of the program isn’t nestled in the exclusivity and urgency that the name “Drops” is meant to connote. Rather, its brilliance lies in the strategic merchandising flexibility that the concept gives to Best Buy amidst the upcoming flood of holiday promotional events, like Black Friday, Prime Day, and Cyber Monday.
With each drop, Best Buy can fuse the consumer adrenaline that comes from feeling a sense of urgency with the poised, strategic allocation and pricing of its inventory. So the idea isn’t merely about get-it-now marketing mixed with scarcity. It’s also about giving Best Buy the autonomy to initiate drops whenever desired, to price them according to its strategic needs, and then subsequently determine the optimal pricing to clear out any remaining stock during any one of the bigger holiday promotional event days that will come later on.
The flexibility this concept brings to Best Buy’s holiday merchandising could be crucial, especially considering that, within the context of the holiday season, certain items aren’t merely products – they are linchpins that can significantly tilt the scales of a retailer’s seasonal success. By positioning these make-or-break products on its own timetable, Best Buy can preemptively strike anytime it wants and, most importantly, before the competitive deluge of everyone else’s holiday deals engulfs the market.
While it’s easy to brand Drops as a copycat or a retread idea, don’t.
This idea is something different because Best Buy will likely put its own stamp on it, just as Best Buy has done with so many other ideas before it. Whether leveraging virtual stores to augment customer service or placing lockers inside the outfacing walls of its stores (see video here or below), Best Buy has, over the years, demonstrated an almost survival-like instinct to discern that emulation and adaptation harnessed in the right way are oftentimes the unsung catalysts of retail innovation.
Best Buy Drops is no different.
The program has sculpted a new bust out of the very same clay others have used before, one that will amplify sell-throughs, augment margins, and anchor the most key items of the holiday selling season in the minds of Best Buy’s consumers before anyone else.
And the best part?
Best Buy won’t be alone in this effort in the years to come. Just as others followed Amazon into its October Prime Day waters, so too will other retailers see the brilliance in what Best Buy is doing and adapt the Drops concept to their own businesses.
No retailer is going to want to go into next holiday giving Best Buy this edge for the second year in a row, which means more copying and more imitating but also more innovation and better deals for the consumer at the same time.