3 Essential Steps Big-Box Retailers Need to Follow To Assert Relevance, Stay Alive

   on April 05 2012 3:34 PM

Best Buy has enjoyed great success in years past with consumer electronics. The company emerged as the leader in the late 1990's in the electronics industry beating out other competitors such as the now defunct Circuit City, but now finds itself forced to refocus its overall business strategy in order to compete with the rise of electronics e-retailers. Best Buy is currently closing 50 stores due to falling profits and their experience is representative of other big-box warehouse-style stores and serves as the leading case-study in where such stores will go in the coming years. Faced with this essential sink or swim circumstance, Best Buy and other similar stores are in a position where changes are needed to get them in the best position to regain market share and redefine their business model for the coming decades.

As such, there are several steps that companies in this innovate or fail circumstance must consider and implement:

1. Refocus - Big Box retailers need to assess their operations, establishing what it is they do best and what they can do that offers a different yet relevant experience for their target customers that will offer viable competition to internet retailers. This should include a dramatic scale-back in operations and the number of stores the company maintains. Focus should be put on their most successful products that also allow for a unique customer experience. An immense effort should be placed on creating the optimal in-store experience for a more targeted selection of products, those in which having in a real in-store experience with them is truly valuable (i.e., to try them out and ask questions to staff face-to-face). Based on the refocus of operations, the essential business plan needs to be redefined and rolled out.

2. Rebrand - Once the refocusing has been decided on and the redefined business plan is rolled out, an aggressive rebranding campaign must be implemented utilizing various marketing channels to inform customers of the new focus, mission, and image of the company.

3. Engage in Internet Marketing - The new-and-improved strategy will likely have a combination of targeting former and current big-box customers but also seeking a portion of the online shopper target group. Regardless, both target audiences are online using search engines and an aggressive internet marketing campaign should be engaged in to gain exposure for the rebranding effort. Businesses can partner with SEO companies to determine the best combination of paid search advertisements and organic SEO. Paid ads will target web searchers and SEO will improve search results. Working together in a coordinated campaign, they can drive targeted traffic and get the rebranded message out to target consumers through the highly visible online medium.

For more information on how businesses can successfully navigate these circumstances and integrate internet marketing and SEO into their efforts, please reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com.

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