My Web 2.0 Expo Keynote: until Best Buy adds people to its website our jobs are not done

The Web 2.0 Expo starts this morning. I’m up early to give my keynote.

My title? “You don’t need a social media strategy, here’s what you do need.”

See, when I got together with a bunch of bloggers this weekend many of them said that companies are asking them for help with their social media strategies. One person said she was asked to help evaluate “social media tools.” You know, like TweetDeck or Twhirl which lets you use Twitter better than just the web page.

Our whole industry has gotten completely off track by this kind of lame talk.

How did we get there? We have people giving talks as “social media experts” who are only following 29 people (seriously, I did see this just a week ago and I’m not going to even mention the person).

It’s to the point now that when I see someone claim they are a “social media expert” that I run the other way as quickly as I can. I’ve been participating in online communities since 1985 and I’m still not expert, so how can someone who is only following 29 people be expert about anything regarding online communities?

Anyway, I’m getting off track. Back to my keynote.

If I were actually giving a keynote this morning I’d put one corporate site up on the screens: BestBuy.com.

I’d implore the audience to wonder where they went wrong. Why hasn’t one of the world’s largest retailers gotten a clue yet?

Where do I get off telling one of the world’s most successful retailers that their web site sucks?

Easy: when you walk into a real Best Buy store, what do you see? I see lots of people with blue shirts on. Employees! People! Folks who can help me pick out a new big screen or camcorder or computer. What else do you see? Customers! Oh, yes, people again.

But when I go to BestBuy.com, what do I see?

No people.

Web 2.0 hasn’t reached BestBuy’s headquarters yet.

Unfortunately today you won’t hear any keynotes about why Web 2.0 has failed to reach Best Buy. No, you’ll hear all sorts of congratulatory stuff about how Web 2.0 is going to save us from the recession. Or you’ll hear more hype about Twitter or how you can build your own social media strategy that will make you better than Zappos.

Here it is in simple terms: add people to your web sites. Zappos has. They feature customer reviews right on their home page. Amazon has. They have reviews right on their home page.

That’s all the social media strategy you need for 2009. After all, if Best Buy isn’t able to do it yet, you probably aren’t able to do it yet either. Figure it out.

Think this doesn’t matter? Well Zappos just passed a billion dollars in sales and Amazon has a P/E ratio of 47.88 compared to Best Buy’s ratio of 15.51.

Why does adding people to your home page make sense?

For several reasons:

1. The real social media strategy you should have is to get people to promote you. Most people are more likely to promote you if they think you’re listening to you. (Zappos does this by having more than 300 employees on Twitter who will fix any problem you have instantly). Amazon does it by having great reviews. If I review some products my name is on the site and I’m more likely to tell other people about Amazon than some other site, like Best Buy’s, that might have a lower price but doesn’t feature me.
2. Most people like a personal approach. I want to know that there’s real people behind a business. Best Buy’s approach feels cold. Zappos’ approach feels warm. You can feel it by visiting both of their sites.
3. It’s a lot harder to chose to screw some business when you know someone there. At Ford Motors there’s Scott Monty. Last weekend we bought a Toyota, but I feel guilty for not buying a product from Scott. This is a dude I’ve never met and only know from dealing with him on my blog and over on Twitter. Yet I feel guilty for not buying from him. (To be fair, Toyota has a bunch of people on Twitter too, but Scott was visible a long time before I knew Toyota was there).
4. Everyone goes through a sales process. I used to help run a consumer electronics store in Silicon Valley and I saw this up close and personal. But go to Best Buy and see if there’s a consultative approach. There’s none, other than “save 15%.” That doesn’t add value and doesn’t help me figure out which big screen I need. Add some blue shirts to the web site and we’ll go down the sales process together and close rates will go up.
5. Adding customers to the home page is low-cost but high return.

So, today, at the Web 2.0 Expo, I’m going to be working to figure out what the best approaches are to add people back to our web sites. Even this blog is too cold and needs more people added to it. More on that later.

Enjoy your day today at the Web 2.0 Expo, I’ll be hanging out in the hallway by the escalators. Feel free to call me +1-425-205-1921 — Rocky and I will be hanging out recording cool companies and meeting people.

UPDATE: Funny, but Ribbit and Best Buy recently announced a social media app for mobile phones. So, maybe BestBuy has a clue but it just hasn’t gotten to the home page yet.

Comments

  1. Using Best Buy as an example is right on. I wonder if long term they will survive with this kind of mindset. There is a shift underway in the retail space and those who “get it” will survive.

  2. Using Best Buy as an example is right on. I wonder if long term they will survive with this kind of mindset. There is a shift underway in the retail space and those who “get it” will survive.

  3. I think the deal is that the majority of the public have access to a physical store and browsing is more fun in real life than with little gifs that may or may not show the actual product.

    I go into Best Buy when I either need something specific or if I have extra cash and want to browse but if I want something that my local store doesn’t have I’d search Ebay first before even thinking about Bestbuy.com, why pay retail and then have to wait for it to ship?

    In some ways, a slow site is a sign that the real world shopping is meeting the needs, not everything needs to be web based!!

  4. I think the deal is that the majority of the public have access to a physical store and browsing is more fun in real life than with little gifs that may or may not show the actual product.

    I go into Best Buy when I either need something specific or if I have extra cash and want to browse but if I want something that my local store doesn’t have I’d search Ebay first before even thinking about Bestbuy.com, why pay retail and then have to wait for it to ship?

    In some ways, a slow site is a sign that the real world shopping is meeting the needs, not everything needs to be web based!!

  5. I understand what you are saying, and want to believe you. The concept is sound, but it is based on the concept that the sales people in the store are indeed helpful. The concept of humanizing their website is solid, but if the level of service I get is similar to what I receive at a brick and mortar store, then I feel I would find it more annoying.

    That being said, I will admit that I have had some excellent service in best buy. Back in small appliances, even large appliances I consistently get people who know what they are talking about. Put those people on the website and I’m there (well, not really, Amazon is just such a better shopping experience, but I’d have a better chance of being there). If however you put the people from computers or cameras on the web, I would reach a high level of frustration quickly. My experience (others may vary) is that they can seldom answer a question if it goes beyond what is on the info card/price tag. In computers I’ve asked about number of memory slots. In cameras I’ve asked about sensor size. In any case like this, they will study the card and then shrug. They do not offer to go find out or in any way go out of their way to answer my question. If I am shopping in those areas I now go in with my iPhone so I can look up my own answers.

    When I think of companies that get the human aspect, Kimpton comes to mind as well as the Northwest Platinum Desk. In both cases, they will move heaven and earth to get the answer you need, though in most cases, their training is such that it is already at their fingertips. From a similar footprint to Best Buy, the level of expertise of the average employee at Ultimate I have found to be higher as well.

    Other’s experience with blue shirts may differ, and I hope it does. Best Buy is a local company for me and I want them to succeed. I’ve shopped them for years, and I will continue to shop them until a better option is available at least in some departments.

    So, by all means, humanize the web, but don’t assume that just putting any human in a blue shirt there will guarantee success.

  6. I understand what you are saying, and want to believe you. The concept is sound, but it is based on the concept that the sales people in the store are indeed helpful. The concept of humanizing their website is solid, but if the level of service I get is similar to what I receive at a brick and mortar store, then I feel I would find it more annoying.

    That being said, I will admit that I have had some excellent service in best buy. Back in small appliances, even large appliances I consistently get people who know what they are talking about. Put those people on the website and I’m there (well, not really, Amazon is just such a better shopping experience, but I’d have a better chance of being there). If however you put the people from computers or cameras on the web, I would reach a high level of frustration quickly. My experience (others may vary) is that they can seldom answer a question if it goes beyond what is on the info card/price tag. In computers I’ve asked about number of memory slots. In cameras I’ve asked about sensor size. In any case like this, they will study the card and then shrug. They do not offer to go find out or in any way go out of their way to answer my question. If I am shopping in those areas I now go in with my iPhone so I can look up my own answers.

    When I think of companies that get the human aspect, Kimpton comes to mind as well as the Northwest Platinum Desk. In both cases, they will move heaven and earth to get the answer you need, though in most cases, their training is such that it is already at their fingertips. From a similar footprint to Best Buy, the level of expertise of the average employee at Ultimate I have found to be higher as well.

    Other’s experience with blue shirts may differ, and I hope it does. Best Buy is a local company for me and I want them to succeed. I’ve shopped them for years, and I will continue to shop them until a better option is available at least in some departments.

    So, by all means, humanize the web, but don’t assume that just putting any human in a blue shirt there will guarantee success.

  7. Robert,

    This deserves much more conversation than I will give right now and I will use this here at Best Buy as a great conversation pusher just like my tools http://spy.appspot.com and others have done so inside the company to get people to understand the value in these channels. There are grassroots teams across the company experimenting in these spaces but, as you point out, being who we are it needs to be bigger, brighter and center stage.

    I’d liek your feedback since we are top of mind…

    I personally have created a tool that allows companies like us to combine the voices of many on Twitter to converge into the companies Twitter stream. I call it http://www.connecttweet.com (blog post here: http://bit.ly/xypWk)… my vision for Best Buy is that thousands of employee voices really are our voice to the market not a big black box and many execs agree when we have talked about this… I’d love your feedback on this concept I believe it meshes with your overall point about bringing the voices to the forefront and something I have been talking about for a while… but to you point not yet doing.

    This post will propel me to do more. We’d love to talk more about this I’m @benhedrington you can email me ben.hedrington@bestbuy.com or ben@hedrington.com any time.

  8. Robert,

    This deserves much more conversation than I will give right now and I will use this here at Best Buy as a great conversation pusher just like my tools http://spy.appspot.com and others have done so inside the company to get people to understand the value in these channels. There are grassroots teams across the company experimenting in these spaces but, as you point out, being who we are it needs to be bigger, brighter and center stage.

    I’d liek your feedback since we are top of mind…

    I personally have created a tool that allows companies like us to combine the voices of many on Twitter to converge into the companies Twitter stream. I call it http://www.connecttweet.com (blog post here: http://bit.ly/xypWk)… my vision for Best Buy is that thousands of employee voices really are our voice to the market not a big black box and many execs agree when we have talked about this… I’d love your feedback on this concept I believe it meshes with your overall point about bringing the voices to the forefront and something I have been talking about for a while… but to you point not yet doing.

    This post will propel me to do more. We’d love to talk more about this I’m @benhedrington you can email me ben.hedrington@bestbuy.com or ben@hedrington.com any time.

  9. The idea is sound but there is a problem with the logic. If you have spent any time with customer service at a Best Buy you’d immediately realize why they don’t want to add ‘people’ to their site — they are terrible at customer satisfaction and giving customers a voice on their website would open a floodgate of vent-blasting the likes of which would destroy the tiny mirage of “good service” they currently enjoy.

  10. Social media is Web 2.0′s version of WOM, of course better, but does word of mouth run the whole marketing strategy? I think not.

    I’m no expert either but as a young online marketer I know it is important to realize that all the marketing functions must work together for more effecient communication. Social media strategy is just a PART of the whole marketing strategy.

    http://trevorlandia.blogspot.com

  11. The idea is sound but there is a problem with the logic. If you have spent any time with customer service at a Best Buy you’d immediately realize why they don’t want to add ‘people’ to their site — they are terrible at customer satisfaction and giving customers a voice on their website would open a floodgate of vent-blasting the likes of which would destroy the tiny mirage of “good service” they currently enjoy.

  12. Social media is Web 2.0′s version of WOM, of course better, but does word of mouth run the whole marketing strategy? I think not.

    I’m no expert either but as a young online marketer I know it is important to realize that all the marketing functions must work together for more effecient communication. Social media strategy is just a PART of the whole marketing strategy.

    http://trevorlandia.blogspot.com

  13. Definitely valid points, but I hope that companies don’t just blindly “add people” and hope magic will happen. The tools are not the solution.

    For example, last year I attended the International Association for Identification (IAI) conference in Louisville, Kentucky on behalf of my employer, who provides software and hardware solutions for law enforcement. One of my co-workers, knowing of my former Twitter account, told me that I should “twitter” what we were doing at the IAI. Great idea, but after performing a Twitter search, I deduced that I was the only person on Twitter at the time who had even heard of the IAI. No sense tweeting to myself.

    I’m pondering the extension of social media tools outside the consumer industry, but the activities in the consumer sector are certainly worth monitoring. I’ll check out this new Best Buy initiative.

  14. Definitely valid points, but I hope that companies don’t just blindly “add people” and hope magic will happen. The tools are not the solution.

    For example, last year I attended the International Association for Identification (IAI) conference in Louisville, Kentucky on behalf of my employer, who provides software and hardware solutions for law enforcement. One of my co-workers, knowing of my former Twitter account, told me that I should “twitter” what we were doing at the IAI. Great idea, but after performing a Twitter search, I deduced that I was the only person on Twitter at the time who had even heard of the IAI. No sense tweeting to myself.

    I’m pondering the extension of social media tools outside the consumer industry, but the activities in the consumer sector are certainly worth monitoring. I’ll check out this new Best Buy initiative.

  15. Robert,

    I think Best Buy is more aggressive and doing more than you realize. It’s worth your time to check out this post on how they are using their APIs to replicate the in-store experience online, and this one on the work they are doing around Remix.

    If you aren’t already, you may want to follow @BestBuyRemix (Keith Burtis, Remix community manager) and @micheleazar (VP of social channels).

    Mike

    Disclosure: I work with Mashery, which provides the API platform for Best Buy.

  16. Robert,

    I think Best Buy is more aggressive and doing more than you realize. It’s worth your time to check out this post on how they are using their APIs to replicate the in-store experience online, and this one on the work they are doing around Remix.

    If you aren’t already, you may want to follow @BestBuyRemix (Keith Burtis, Remix community manager) and @micheleazar (VP of social channels).

    Mike

    Disclosure: I work with Mashery, which provides the API platform for Best Buy.

  17. Robert,

    Very impressive. You are followed by thousands of people but you get it right when you say that the point is to follower other people.

    Thanks for the insights.

  18. Robert,

    Very impressive. You are followed by thousands of people but you get it right when you say that the point is to follower other people.

    Thanks for the insights.

  19. Bull, either companies like BestBuy start giving a shit about their customers (on and off-line) or we will find alternative companies that do. Customer service, caring, and interest should be baked into your company culture. Think about it before you sell something or hire anyone.

  20. Bull, either companies like BestBuy start giving a shit about their customers (on and off-line) or we will find alternative companies that do. Customer service, caring, and interest should be baked into your company culture. Think about it before you sell something or hire anyone.

  21. Hi Robert,

    The power of our people is what propelled Best Buy to become an industry leader in retail. I agree with your point about Bestbuy.com not showcasing our Blueshirt and Geek Squad agents in the same manner as in our stores. However, when a brand moves online it doesn’t mean they create a carbon copy of their physical store locations.

    My team and I manage and moderate many of Best Buy’s Web 2.0 engagements. We populate the internet with their Blueshirt and Geek Squad knowledge. We have tri-lingual support on Twitter: English (BBY_Community, GeekSquadHelp), Spanish (BBY_Comunidad) and French (BBY_Communaute) – I am not aware of any other company that harnesses the power of it people in this fashion. We also have bilingual Community Forums (http://forums.bestbuy.com). I write the Best Living blog and one of my team members writes The Red Ring of Death and Other Gaming Nightmares blog. In addition to these blogs, we also have Best Buy Connect (http://bestbuyinc.com/connect/), which features employee blogs and Twitters. Also, on Bestbuy.com there are written and video Ratings and Reviews that are created by customers.

    Furthermore, we also engage in communities that are not operated by Best Buy. We have a Best Buy Community channel on YouTube and feature these videos on our Community Forum. We engage on our Facebook page, help customers on Get Satisfaction, promote Best Buy @15 on MySpace and dialogue with customers on their personal blogs – there are many examples out there in the blogosphere; here are two: http://tinyurl.com/6f6ua4 and http://tinyurl.com/BBY-penguin.

    Therefore, I partially agree with your statement that, “Web 2.0 hasn’t reached BestBuy’s headquarters yet.” While Web 2.0 has reached Best Buy’s headquarters, we are still in the process of embracing it and integrating it into our complete experience. Until full integration we will continue to utilize other means of connecting our Blueshirts and Geek Squad agents with both our customers and the online public.

    If you would like to chat more, I welcome the conversation. I’m on Twitter – Gina_BestBuy.

    Gina
    Community Manager, Best Buy
    Creating meaningful communication in a virtual world

  22. Hi Robert,

    The power of our people is what propelled Best Buy to become an industry leader in retail. I agree with your point about Bestbuy.com not showcasing our Blueshirt and Geek Squad agents in the same manner as in our stores. However, when a brand moves online it doesn’t mean they create a carbon copy of their physical store locations.

    My team and I manage and moderate many of Best Buy’s Web 2.0 engagements. We populate the internet with their Blueshirt and Geek Squad knowledge. We have tri-lingual support on Twitter: English (BBY_Community, GeekSquadHelp), Spanish (BBY_Comunidad) and French (BBY_Communaute) – I am not aware of any other company that harnesses the power of it people in this fashion. We also have bilingual Community Forums (http://forums.bestbuy.com). I write the Best Living blog and one of my team members writes The Red Ring of Death and Other Gaming Nightmares blog. In addition to these blogs, we also have Best Buy Connect (http://bestbuyinc.com/connect/), which features employee blogs and Twitters. Also, on Bestbuy.com there are written and video Ratings and Reviews that are created by customers.

    Furthermore, we also engage in communities that are not operated by Best Buy. We have a Best Buy Community channel on YouTube and feature these videos on our Community Forum. We engage on our Facebook page, help customers on Get Satisfaction, promote Best Buy @15 on MySpace and dialogue with customers on their personal blogs – there are many examples out there in the blogosphere; here are two: http://tinyurl.com/6f6ua4 and http://tinyurl.com/BBY-penguin.

    Therefore, I partially agree with your statement that, “Web 2.0 hasn’t reached BestBuy’s headquarters yet.” While Web 2.0 has reached Best Buy’s headquarters, we are still in the process of embracing it and integrating it into our complete experience. Until full integration we will continue to utilize other means of connecting our Blueshirts and Geek Squad agents with both our customers and the online public.

    If you would like to chat more, I welcome the conversation. I’m on Twitter – Gina_BestBuy.

    Gina
    Community Manager, Best Buy
    Creating meaningful communication in a virtual world

  23. I agree that following others is key; we need to reach out to others … then they will reach out to us.

    See you at the Expo!

  24. I agree that following others is key; we need to reach out to others … then they will reach out to us.

    See you at the Expo!

  25. Couldn’t agree more but it wasn’t always that way at bestbuy.com…in the beginning (launch June 2000) it was all about people, service. It was all about how BestBuy wanted to be your “smart friend”, the one you turn to for unbiased recommendations. It was about providing better, more consistent customer service and providing anything and everything you the customer would want or need to know about the products so you could make the right selection for you. And it was loaded with people images. Happy, smiling customers interacting with products. And the reason it was that way was it was Brad Anderson (BBY-President) and John Waldon (BBY.com-President) vision. I was the design director (consultant) so know the original vision very well.
    The wayback machine doesn’t seem to have an archive with visuals so I’ll open up the back end of my old site where you can get the visuals as well as a little story about the original site… http://www.geise.com/index.php/portfolio/C185/online/

  26. Couldn’t agree more but it wasn’t always that way at bestbuy.com…in the beginning (launch June 2000) it was all about people, service. It was all about how BestBuy wanted to be your “smart friend”, the one you turn to for unbiased recommendations. It was about providing better, more consistent customer service and providing anything and everything you the customer would want or need to know about the products so you could make the right selection for you. And it was loaded with people images. Happy, smiling customers interacting with products. And the reason it was that way was it was Brad Anderson (BBY-President) and John Waldon (BBY.com-President) vision. I was the design director (consultant) so know the original vision very well.
    The wayback machine doesn’t seem to have an archive with visuals so I’ll open up the back end of my old site where you can get the visuals as well as a little story about the original site… http://www.geise.com/index.php/portfolio/C185/online/

  27. Just so one isn’t confused by the coloration (lack of BBY-Blue), back then, customers didn’t identify BBY with blue, BBY was testing Concept-5 stores and planned on converting all stores to that concept, it didn’t use blue. And, most brick/mortar chains were trying to differentiate their online operations from their offline stores (because of the Amazon valuations) and take them public at some point. The dot-com bust changed all that.

  28. Just so one isn’t confused by the coloration (lack of BBY-Blue), back then, customers didn’t identify BBY with blue, BBY was testing Concept-5 stores and planned on converting all stores to that concept, it didn’t use blue. And, most brick/mortar chains were trying to differentiate their online operations from their offline stores (because of the Amazon valuations) and take them public at some point. The dot-com bust changed all that.

  29. Thanks for helping out the US economy by picking up that Toyota. Make sure not to visit Detroit, douchebag.

  30. Thanks for helping out the US economy by picking up that Toyota. Make sure not to visit Detroit, douchebag.

  31. Web 2.0 annoyance #1: 5 minute experts. It is semantically possible for people to dabble in social media/networking and become more informed than most; thus they are “experts” in comparison to others–like my 5-year old daughter, for instance. I suggest, then, that these experts give the keynote at their local area day care centers.

    Imagine it! Pre-schoolers tweeting! Blogging about boogers!

  32. Web 2.0 annoyance #1: 5 minute experts. It is semantically possible for people to dabble in social media/networking and become more informed than most; thus they are “experts” in comparison to others–like my 5-year old daughter, for instance. I suggest, then, that these experts give the keynote at their local area day care centers.

    Imagine it! Pre-schoolers tweeting! Blogging about boogers!

  33. The spirit of what you’ve said here is spot on, but having people present doesn’t mean you have solved the problem of creating a relationship with your customers. Best Buy has people in their stores, but they still don’t have the traditional model (i.e. face-to-face) of customer relationships worked out. I have done a number of shopping expeditions to Best Buy stores to gain a better understanding of what people are experiencing when they buy computers. When asking about which notebook computer to choose at multiple Best Buy locations, the sales people always key in on selling me a product replacement plan and offer to charge me to remove trialware from the computer. Trying to get them to tell me why I might want the Toshiba or the HP notebook doesn’t get me to the point of having an informed choice. If employees aren’t being trained to provide this data effectively in person, how is Best Buy going to create that culture online?

  34. The spirit of what you’ve said here is spot on, but having people present doesn’t mean you have solved the problem of creating a relationship with your customers. Best Buy has people in their stores, but they still don’t have the traditional model (i.e. face-to-face) of customer relationships worked out. I have done a number of shopping expeditions to Best Buy stores to gain a better understanding of what people are experiencing when they buy computers. When asking about which notebook computer to choose at multiple Best Buy locations, the sales people always key in on selling me a product replacement plan and offer to charge me to remove trialware from the computer. Trying to get them to tell me why I might want the Toshiba or the HP notebook doesn’t get me to the point of having an informed choice. If employees aren’t being trained to provide this data effectively in person, how is Best Buy going to create that culture online?

  35. Agree with Eric N. BestBuy don’t give a crap about their customers, and until they change that attitude, customers will find alternatives. Personally, BestBuy is a place where I go if I need something urgently or just to browse before I buy online.

    If I recall correctly, isn’t this also the same company that showed different pricing on their website when browsed from within stores? That’s just hitting new lows to rip-off customers.

  36. Agree with Eric N. BestBuy don’t give a crap about their customers, and until they change that attitude, customers will find alternatives. Personally, BestBuy is a place where I go if I need something urgently or just to browse before I buy online.

    If I recall correctly, isn’t this also the same company that showed different pricing on their website when browsed from within stores? That’s just hitting new lows to rip-off customers.

  37. Robert, Thank you for your opinions. I am social media community manager for the Best Buy Remix project. Not sure how many people know, but Best Buy has opened up it’s API of information to allow developers to create third party apps on Best Buy content. I don’t want to reiterate the things that some of my coworkers have said, but one thing I am sure is that you will see improvements on the horizon.

    As a company I know Best Buy has web 2.0, engagement, and change as top of mind.

    Thank you for the suggestions.
    Keith Burtis – @Bestbuyremix
    http://remix.bestbuy.com

    PS- It was nice to meet you at SXSW.

  38. Robert, Thank you for your opinions. I am social media community manager for the Best Buy Remix project. Not sure how many people know, but Best Buy has opened up it’s API of information to allow developers to create third party apps on Best Buy content. I don’t want to reiterate the things that some of my coworkers have said, but one thing I am sure is that you will see improvements on the horizon.

    As a company I know Best Buy has web 2.0, engagement, and change as top of mind.

    Thank you for the suggestions.
    Keith Burtis – @Bestbuyremix
    http://remix.bestbuy.com

    PS- It was nice to meet you at SXSW.

  39. Jake – I turned down the BBY gig three times. I was finally convinced to do it when Brad Anderson said he saw online as a way of providing superior service, speaking with a single voice, being manufacture/brand agnostic, etc. Getting you unbiased recommendations and the product that is right for you. He also said, blow the blockages, route around the party poopers and don’t let the brick-n-mortar side get in your way. Coordinate where you can, route around where you have to.
    In-store you have employees that don’t do their homework (BBY has good training from what I saw if the employees would just do it), have their own personalities/agendas, extremely high turn over and some managers can be a little too aggressive because their salary/bonus depends on it. Online you have neither of those problems.
    —–
    I must say though, I’ve had pretty good in-store experiences the last year or so. Except for the prick who insisted I buy a Blackberry on the Verizon network. Could have been an easy sale but he wouldn’t sell me what I wanted. Finally walked out on him. No matter what corporate does, you’re going to end up with some emplyees like that.

  40. Jake – I turned down the BBY gig three times. I was finally convinced to do it when Brad Anderson said he saw online as a way of providing superior service, speaking with a single voice, being manufacture/brand agnostic, etc. Getting you unbiased recommendations and the product that is right for you. He also said, blow the blockages, route around the party poopers and don’t let the brick-n-mortar side get in your way. Coordinate where you can, route around where you have to.
    In-store you have employees that don’t do their homework (BBY has good training from what I saw if the employees would just do it), have their own personalities/agendas, extremely high turn over and some managers can be a little too aggressive because their salary/bonus depends on it. Online you have neither of those problems.
    —–
    I must say though, I’ve had pretty good in-store experiences the last year or so. Except for the prick who insisted I buy a Blackberry on the Verizon network. Could have been an easy sale but he wouldn’t sell me what I wanted. Finally walked out on him. No matter what corporate does, you’re going to end up with some emplyees like that.

  41. Common Sense Counterpoints

    1. There is no such thing as social media. Media is not social. People are. Yet online, it’s still all mainly fake friendships, not very social, demented raw narcissism, yes. Plus, it’s faddish, hot thing today, cold tomorrow.

    2. A personal touchy-feel approach means little, if the product is of poor
    quality and not priced right for the market. And too personal is as annoying as too little. But if a bargain, yet you have to put up with rudeness, shrug, it’s still a bargain. Master your emotions. Besides the ABSENCE of annoying Blue Shirt pimply-college kid twerps, saying whatever for a commission and all the extended warranty dirty tricks, is one of the benefits. You must be in some alternate reality zone, as I don’t see mass love for big box ‘people as cattle’ approaches, ask Laptop Magazine about that. And personal touches, come with bigger price tags. Commodity cheap, personal touch, take out a loan.

    3. Making purchasing decisions based on personal feelings is a direct highway to ruin; ignore the faux guilt trips.

    4. Some people go through a research and case-study process, the smart ones, at least. Sales processes are for those who haven’t done their homework.

    5. Websites are not low cost. Overall ROI has to be factored in, and you need a support system to make it work, shipping, hosting, low margins, logistical supply-chain nightmares, can kill you. The whole dot.com bomb thing already happened, member? Click didn’t replace brick. This stuff isn’t as easy as having some San Fran hippie design firm fire up some artsy flash/html. MBA-level Supply-Chain Vendor-Management Pricing-Formula Logistical Leaps and Bounds, thats more the reality. The process is ever bit as vital as the actual site.

  42. Common Sense Counterpoints

    1. There is no such thing as social media. Media is not social. People are. Yet online, it’s still all mainly fake friendships, not very social, demented raw narcissism, yes. Plus, it’s faddish, hot thing today, cold tomorrow.

    2. A personal touchy-feel approach means little, if the product is of poor
    quality and not priced right for the market. And too personal is as annoying as too little. But if a bargain, yet you have to put up with rudeness, shrug, it’s still a bargain. Master your emotions. Besides the ABSENCE of annoying Blue Shirt pimply-college kid twerps, saying whatever for a commission and all the extended warranty dirty tricks, is one of the benefits. You must be in some alternate reality zone, as I don’t see mass love for big box ‘people as cattle’ approaches, ask Laptop Magazine about that. And personal touches, come with bigger price tags. Commodity cheap, personal touch, take out a loan.

    3. Making purchasing decisions based on personal feelings is a direct highway to ruin; ignore the faux guilt trips.

    4. Some people go through a research and case-study process, the smart ones, at least. Sales processes are for those who haven’t done their homework.

    5. Websites are not low cost. Overall ROI has to be factored in, and you need a support system to make it work, shipping, hosting, low margins, logistical supply-chain nightmares, can kill you. The whole dot.com bomb thing already happened, member? Click didn’t replace brick. This stuff isn’t as easy as having some San Fran hippie design firm fire up some artsy flash/html. MBA-level Supply-Chain Vendor-Management Pricing-Formula Logistical Leaps and Bounds, thats more the reality. The process is ever bit as vital as the actual site.

  43. [...] Scobleizer: Technology, innovation, and geek enthusiasm » Blog Archive My Web 2.0 Expo Keynote: unt… To make it in social media you need people there ready to interact with the customer or the customer them self for other customers to see/interact with. (tags: socialmedia socialnetworking business web2.0 bestbuy people social ecommerce) [...]

  44. With all due respect Robert, you’re not only a “Monday morning quarterback”, you’re someone who has never even played football. That you are pontificating as a junior commentator on the social media equivalent of ESPN doesn’t make you a former head coach or player coach whose played the game, won and lost, and known the triumphs, losses and what it takes to achieve.

    Scanning through your Wikipedia page, it’s clear that you’ve had some interesting low level jobs and, one could argue, even more intriguing new media ones at a modestly higher level. That, however, does NOT make you either an expert, qualified in any way to grok the complexity of an ecommerce site on the scale of a Best Buy, and thus you come across as hopefully naive in this post.

    Having called on Dick Schulze and Brad Anderson when they had eight Sound of Music stores (I was with a manufacturer’s rep firm out of college), I’ve been somewhat privy to how they went from that modest beginning to the consumer electronics behemoth they are today. They fought, clawed, and sold their way to greatness, taking HUGE risks in the previously untested and new “big box retailer” concept that is the Best Buy we know today.

    *If* you’d done any due diligence (ahh….reporting?) you would’ve seen that they’re taking more risks with ‘net/web/social media initiatives than *any* organization their size. Yes, the BestBuy.com site is still a transactional ecommerce one and sadly so, but again, if you had even a tiny trace of knowledge about enterprise information technology you’d be mortified to have written this post.

  45. With all due respect Robert, you’re not only a “Monday morning quarterback”, you’re someone who has never even played football. That you are pontificating as a junior commentator on the social media equivalent of ESPN doesn’t make you a former head coach or player coach whose played the game, won and lost, and known the triumphs, losses and what it takes to achieve.

    Scanning through your Wikipedia page, it’s clear that you’ve had some interesting low level jobs and, one could argue, even more intriguing new media ones at a modestly higher level. That, however, does NOT make you either an expert, qualified in any way to grok the complexity of an ecommerce site on the scale of a Best Buy, and thus you come across as hopefully naive in this post.

    Having called on Dick Schulze and Brad Anderson when they had eight Sound of Music stores (I was with a manufacturer’s rep firm out of college), I’ve been somewhat privy to how they went from that modest beginning to the consumer electronics behemoth they are today. They fought, clawed, and sold their way to greatness, taking HUGE risks in the previously untested and new “big box retailer” concept that is the Best Buy we know today.

    *If* you’d done any due diligence (ahh….reporting?) you would’ve seen that they’re taking more risks with ‘net/web/social media initiatives than *any* organization their size. Yes, the BestBuy.com site is still a transactional ecommerce one and sadly so, but again, if you had even a tiny trace of knowledge about enterprise information technology you’d be mortified to have written this post.

  46. A little snarky there this morning Mr. Borsch :-)
    Yes, BBY is doing a lot internally/externally with social media. But to Roberts point, the site doesn’t really reflect that with a warm friendly face.

  47. A little snarky there this morning Mr. Borsch :-)
    Yes, BBY is doing a lot internally/externally with social media. But to Roberts point, the site doesn’t really reflect that with a warm friendly face.

  48. Hot dog…if this post and comments aren’t becoming the essence of web 2.0, then I don’t get it!

    I am learning more from keeping tabs on these comments that I have in 5 months on Twitter. (Sorry, beginning to like to dig (not Digg) into Twitter.)

    Although I had a hell of time reading Mr. Borsch’s comment, I have to say that I didn’t read any “pontificating” in Mr. Scoble’s post. I saw quite the opposite: a keep it simple sentiment that is at the heart of social anything: human freaking beings. Can’t live with ‘em…but you can follow them, friend them, and comment on their blogs.

    Thx Borsch, PXlated, Scoble and Coulter — my week’s better now.

  49. Hot dog…if this post and comments aren’t becoming the essence of web 2.0, then I don’t get it!

    I am learning more from keeping tabs on these comments that I have in 5 months on Twitter. (Sorry, beginning to like to dig (not Digg) into Twitter.)

    Although I had a hell of time reading Mr. Borsch’s comment, I have to say that I didn’t read any “pontificating” in Mr. Scoble’s post. I saw quite the opposite: a keep it simple sentiment that is at the heart of social anything: human freaking beings. Can’t live with ‘em…but you can follow them, friend them, and comment on their blogs.

    Thx Borsch, PXlated, Scoble and Coulter — my week’s better now.

  50. Steve Borsch: I’ve read through your info on the internet. It’s very clear that you do not have the expertise to call me on the carpet. Come back when you do.

  51. Steve Borsch: I’ve read through your info on the internet. It’s very clear that you do not have the expertise to call me on the carpet. Come back when you do.

  52. re: borsch. Experience in an old model isn’t what qualifies anyone to be insightful about a new model, in fact the old experience is often a detriment to objectivity.

    re: the web 2.0 and best buy. I generally agree with most of the points regarding “humanizing/socializing” Best Buy’s web presence, although it does seem that Best Buy has a number of initiatives in progress, and isn’t exactly the poster child for “not getting it.”

    I’m equally interested in applying some of the web 2.0′s aggregation and filtering tools to deliver content to the physical store. I’d like to read reviews about specific geek squad techs before I choose which store to take my PC to. I’d like to be able to see reviews for the product I’m about to buy on impulse in the store. I’d love to be able to subscribe to reviews from friends in my network and have them available in the store while I shop. Obviously this is all starting to be available via our portable devices, but it could be a much richer experience it it were directly built into the physical infrastructure of the store.

  53. re: borsch. Experience in an old model isn’t what qualifies anyone to be insightful about a new model, in fact the old experience is often a detriment to objectivity.

    re: the web 2.0 and best buy. I generally agree with most of the points regarding “humanizing/socializing” Best Buy’s web presence, although it does seem that Best Buy has a number of initiatives in progress, and isn’t exactly the poster child for “not getting it.”

    I’m equally interested in applying some of the web 2.0′s aggregation and filtering tools to deliver content to the physical store. I’d like to read reviews about specific geek squad techs before I choose which store to take my PC to. I’d like to be able to see reviews for the product I’m about to buy on impulse in the store. I’d love to be able to subscribe to reviews from friends in my network and have them available in the store while I shop. Obviously this is all starting to be available via our portable devices, but it could be a much richer experience it it were directly built into the physical infrastructure of the store.

  54. Robert, I’ll vouch for PXLated. I worked side-by-side with him pre-launch in ’99/’00 as interim content director. He’s right, the original vision was a good one; Brad was a believer, and a great leader. Lord knows a lot of water has gone over the dam since then for BestBuy.com (and how many umpteen billions in sales, too).

    Today, things would be hugely different. But I also know there are a lot of great folks in that company now with their hearts (and minds) in the right place re: social media. They get it, they know the online world has changed, and there are better ways to do retail online…and they’re working hard to make things better there. I think it would be cool if you came here to Minneapolis and met with them. We would gladly host you for one of our Social Media Breakfasts! ….which Best Buy often hosts, God bless ‘em.

    Many of those Best Buy folks have already commented above or been mentioned; so, we know they’re listening and participating. The best comment of all ‘em, though, was from my buddy Gary Koelling: “Thank you, sir. May I have another?” Laughed my ass off!

    Hope you’re having fun at Web 2.0 — I can see you right there by the escalators.

    cheers,
    Graeme
    http://www.twitter.com/graemethickins

  55. Robert, I’ll vouch for PXLated. I worked side-by-side with him pre-launch in ’99/’00 as interim content director. He’s right, the original vision was a good one; Brad was a believer, and a great leader. Lord knows a lot of water has gone over the dam since then for BestBuy.com (and how many umpteen billions in sales, too).

    Today, things would be hugely different. But I also know there are a lot of great folks in that company now with their hearts (and minds) in the right place re: social media. They get it, they know the online world has changed, and there are better ways to do retail online…and they’re working hard to make things better there. I think it would be cool if you came here to Minneapolis and met with them. We would gladly host you for one of our Social Media Breakfasts! ….which Best Buy often hosts, God bless ‘em.

    Many of those Best Buy folks have already commented above or been mentioned; so, we know they’re listening and participating. The best comment of all ‘em, though, was from my buddy Gary Koelling: “Thank you, sir. May I have another?” Laughed my ass off!

    Hope you’re having fun at Web 2.0 — I can see you right there by the escalators.

    cheers,
    Graeme
    http://www.twitter.com/graemethickins

  56. Agreed, Robert. People are still trying to figure out social media et al. At the moment it’s like trying to juggle porcupines.

    I would suggest that to be of use to enterprise, Facebook and Twitter need to be integrated. So, instead of the reviews being part of the website owner’s content, it’s actually drawn from and/or posted using Facebook and Twitter.

  57. Agreed, Robert. People are still trying to figure out social media et al. At the moment it’s like trying to juggle porcupines.

    I would suggest that to be of use to enterprise, Facebook and Twitter need to be integrated. So, instead of the reviews being part of the website owner’s content, it’s actually drawn from and/or posted using Facebook and Twitter.

  58. Nothing changes except our tools. The customer is king. Customer service is a differentiator. Always has been. However, it’s expensive. Our new tools, including social media, open up new, cost effective, ways to provide it. Would Best Buy take their, very few, customer service/sales people out of their stores.

    I love this post – to me it says don’t let go of everything you know to be a core truth. Leverage the new ability to streamline process and improve service.

  59. Nothing changes except our tools. The customer is king. Customer service is a differentiator. Always has been. However, it’s expensive. Our new tools, including social media, open up new, cost effective, ways to provide it. Would Best Buy take their, very few, customer service/sales people out of their stores.

    I love this post – to me it says don’t let go of everything you know to be a core truth. Leverage the new ability to streamline process and improve service.

  60. Whoa! Lots of opinions on this one. I think you are bang on! It is becoming more obvious everyday (at least to me) that those brick & mortar retailers that move towards an improved online social/interactive experience, fully connected with their physical buildings, will have the best chance of survival and growth. How else can one compete with Zappos, Amazon, Threadless? Take a look at what Whole Foods is doing with its interactive web-site and valued twitter account, and you will see where every retailer is heading. I don’t know where Best Buy is at, but they will have to move in this direction.

  61. Whoa! Lots of opinions on this one. I think you are bang on! It is becoming more obvious everyday (at least to me) that those brick & mortar retailers that move towards an improved online social/interactive experience, fully connected with their physical buildings, will have the best chance of survival and growth. How else can one compete with Zappos, Amazon, Threadless? Take a look at what Whole Foods is doing with its interactive web-site and valued twitter account, and you will see where every retailer is heading. I don’t know where Best Buy is at, but they will have to move in this direction.

  62. “I want to know that there’s real people behind a business.”

    You think there aren’t? Are you thinking that businesses that don’t have “people” on their web site are run by robots? Space aliens?

    Dunno about you, but when I walk into a BestBuy it would be hard to convince any rational person there were not “people” behind the business.

    Do you have any quantifiable research data, –and I mean real research data, not the “most people I talk to” kind of research you throw out as authoritative–, that BestBuy’s sales and bottom line is being dramatically impacted to the negative because they don’t have “real people” on their web site with Twitter, MyFace, and BookSpace icons next to their names? Or is this some epiphany you had while gazing at your navel (assuming you can find it)

    “It’s a lot harder to chose to screw some business when you know someone there” Huh? I don’t even know what the hell this means. Are you saying that when you want to patronize a business you initially set out to screw them until you find out they have some random employee “blogging” on their corporate web site, and spam Twitter with promos for their company? “harder to screw businesses..” ??? Seriously, what the hell was your point? Besides Microsoft, who the hell does business like that?

    Hey! How ’bout that! You “know” some random person from Ford because he uses Twitter so, in your world, he ‘gets it’. Well, while I haven’t done any actual research (see! I can own up to up), I’m pretty confident that if I did, I would find that for every nerd like you that apparently (based on your writings) makes all their purchasing decisions based on how many people from that company are using Twitter and MyFace, there are 100,000 people out there who couldn’t give a crap if a company has “real people” “engaging” in a “conversation” on their web site, but happily make purchases from Ford, Toyota, BestBuy and continue to do so…because the are happy with the PRODUCT that company sells. The ratio of people that couldn’t give a crap if a company is using the latest social networking tools, to those that for some reason think a company’s future and fate hinges on using the latest “social networking” tools to enable less REAL personal interaction with their customers, is probably 100K-to-1.

    Oh, boo-hoo.!You don’t get a wedgie..er, I mean, a “warm” feeling when you go to BestBuy’s site. (If that’s what you are looking for, I can point you to a number of sites that will make you feel “warm”..along with some other good feelings) Again, freely admit I don’t have the data, but I would venture to guess that the majority of people that shop on the internet don’t go to a company’s ecommerce site expecting to get a “warm” feeling “. (excepting those I referred to above) They likely go there to get a good price, find product that can’t find at a retail outlet, and expect a hassle-free, secure check out experience. If they get that, it wouldn’t matter if they felt they were at the Southpole in the middle of their winter.

    If you would take even an hour out of your day to do some actual, real research, your would have discovered before bloviating that Best Buy has been on the leading edge of retail technology for years now. Hell, if you ever managed to do more at Microsoft than shove a camera in people’s faces and ask them “who are you?” you would have discovered that BestBuy and Microsoft have been developing cutting edge retail technology together for years. The kind of systems that actually DIRECTLY contribute to their bottom line. Moreover, your weak argument to attempt to discredit Mr. Borsch should find you embarrassed. Mr. Borsch has probably forgotten more about BestBuy that you could ever learn. And no, I don’t work for Mr. Borsch. And have only had the pleasure to speak with him 3 times. But he left no doubt where his expertise lays. Seriously, do some real research before spouting off pretending to know what you are talking about. Yes, he was a bit snarky. But his description of you was rather accurate. Basically you are the nerd version of a jock-sniffer. If you only had credible data to support your positions you could be taken more seriously. But for some reason you can’t bring yourself to do that. And “no” your number of “followers” is not a credible measure. I mean, hell, Britney Spears has well over half-million followers. Makes me wonder about the quality of twitter users,

    (Mr. Borsch, you may not remember the brief meeting we had on the 17th floor of a rather random high rise in Huntington Beach a few years ago. But, it’s nice to “hear” from you. In the long run you should consider that meeting to have been a success for you. I’m sure you know to what I am referring ;-) )

  63. “I want to know that there’s real people behind a business.”

    You think there aren’t? Are you thinking that businesses that don’t have “people” on their web site are run by robots? Space aliens?

    Dunno about you, but when I walk into a BestBuy it would be hard to convince any rational person there were not “people” behind the business.

    Do you have any quantifiable research data, –and I mean real research data, not the “most people I talk to” kind of research you throw out as authoritative–, that BestBuy’s sales and bottom line is being dramatically impacted to the negative because they don’t have “real people” on their web site with Twitter, MyFace, and BookSpace icons next to their names? Or is this some epiphany you had while gazing at your navel (assuming you can find it)

    “It’s a lot harder to chose to screw some business when you know someone there” Huh? I don’t even know what the hell this means. Are you saying that when you want to patronize a business you initially set out to screw them until you find out they have some random employee “blogging” on their corporate web site, and spam Twitter with promos for their company? “harder to screw businesses..” ??? Seriously, what the hell was your point? Besides Microsoft, who the hell does business like that?

    Hey! How ’bout that! You “know” some random person from Ford because he uses Twitter so, in your world, he ‘gets it’. Well, while I haven’t done any actual research (see! I can own up to up), I’m pretty confident that if I did, I would find that for every nerd like you that apparently (based on your writings) makes all their purchasing decisions based on how many people from that company are using Twitter and MyFace, there are 100,000 people out there who couldn’t give a crap if a company has “real people” “engaging” in a “conversation” on their web site, but happily make purchases from Ford, Toyota, BestBuy and continue to do so…because the are happy with the PRODUCT that company sells. The ratio of people that couldn’t give a crap if a company is using the latest social networking tools, to those that for some reason think a company’s future and fate hinges on using the latest “social networking” tools to enable less REAL personal interaction with their customers, is probably 100K-to-1.

    Oh, boo-hoo.!You don’t get a wedgie..er, I mean, a “warm” feeling when you go to BestBuy’s site. (If that’s what you are looking for, I can point you to a number of sites that will make you feel “warm”..along with some other good feelings) Again, freely admit I don’t have the data, but I would venture to guess that the majority of people that shop on the internet don’t go to a company’s ecommerce site expecting to get a “warm” feeling “. (excepting those I referred to above) They likely go there to get a good price, find product that can’t find at a retail outlet, and expect a hassle-free, secure check out experience. If they get that, it wouldn’t matter if they felt they were at the Southpole in the middle of their winter.

    If you would take even an hour out of your day to do some actual, real research, your would have discovered before bloviating that Best Buy has been on the leading edge of retail technology for years now. Hell, if you ever managed to do more at Microsoft than shove a camera in people’s faces and ask them “who are you?” you would have discovered that BestBuy and Microsoft have been developing cutting edge retail technology together for years. The kind of systems that actually DIRECTLY contribute to their bottom line. Moreover, your weak argument to attempt to discredit Mr. Borsch should find you embarrassed. Mr. Borsch has probably forgotten more about BestBuy that you could ever learn. And no, I don’t work for Mr. Borsch. And have only had the pleasure to speak with him 3 times. But he left no doubt where his expertise lays. Seriously, do some real research before spouting off pretending to know what you are talking about. Yes, he was a bit snarky. But his description of you was rather accurate. Basically you are the nerd version of a jock-sniffer. If you only had credible data to support your positions you could be taken more seriously. But for some reason you can’t bring yourself to do that. And “no” your number of “followers” is not a credible measure. I mean, hell, Britney Spears has well over half-million followers. Makes me wonder about the quality of twitter users,

    (Mr. Borsch, you may not remember the brief meeting we had on the 17th floor of a rather random high rise in Huntington Beach a few years ago. But, it’s nice to “hear” from you. In the long run you should consider that meeting to have been a success for you. I’m sure you know to what I am referring ;-) )

  64. “Thanks for helping out the US economy by picking up that Toyota. Make sure not to visit Detroit, douchebag.”

    Talk about antiquated thinking. Don’t know what Toyota model Scoble purchased, but given the fact that both German and Japanese auto companies have more plants in the US than Ford and Federal Motors, it’s quite likely Scoble’s Toyota was built in the US, in a plant in a city in the US, by UAW workers and robots. So, what’s not to like?

    As far as visiting Detroit goes, with Federal Motors likely moving HQ to D.C., besides Ford what is there to visit

  65. “Thanks for helping out the US economy by picking up that Toyota. Make sure not to visit Detroit, douchebag.”

    Talk about antiquated thinking. Don’t know what Toyota model Scoble purchased, but given the fact that both German and Japanese auto companies have more plants in the US than Ford and Federal Motors, it’s quite likely Scoble’s Toyota was built in the US, in a plant in a city in the US, by UAW workers and robots. So, what’s not to like?

    As far as visiting Detroit goes, with Federal Motors likely moving HQ to D.C., besides Ford what is there to visit

  66. Great challenge, but don’t you think the real innovation with come first from a small company that can take more risks? I’d love to see an eCommerce site, for example, with live chat an every page, but my guess is that no large organization will be crazy enough to try this first.

  67. Great challenge, but don’t you think the real innovation with come first from a small company that can take more risks? I’d love to see an eCommerce site, for example, with live chat an every page, but my guess is that no large organization will be crazy enough to try this first.

  68. Shane, wise wisdom, but it’s wasted, 30 second blogger attention span timezones, onto the next shiny controversy-laden worm-bait toy. I gave up on analysis pieces, hit and runs take less time. And Steve Borsch, you hiring? :)

  69. Shane, wise wisdom, but it’s wasted, 30 second blogger attention span timezones, onto the next shiny controversy-laden worm-bait toy. I gave up on analysis pieces, hit and runs take less time. And Steve Borsch, you hiring? :)

  70. What I most want from BestBuy online is fairly simple: let me filter my search based on “in-store availability”. Not so much to save the few days of shipping time, but so I can actually *see* the thing (and possibly try it).

    The only other thing I want from Best Buy is better ways to research/find the right thing, and for that, yes, people are required, so I go to Amazon for reviews. I’m actually thinking that Caterina’s new Hunch might be the kind of thing a store like Best Buy could MOST use. But truly–I want to spend LESS, not more, time on the sites I want to shop on. I want to buy something (including research it), not build a relationship. If they can help me learn something useful, or make a more informed and appropriate decision, THAT would be great. But I don’t go to Best Buy to “engage”.

  71. What I most want from BestBuy online is fairly simple: let me filter my search based on “in-store availability”. Not so much to save the few days of shipping time, but so I can actually *see* the thing (and possibly try it).

    The only other thing I want from Best Buy is better ways to research/find the right thing, and for that, yes, people are required, so I go to Amazon for reviews. I’m actually thinking that Caterina’s new Hunch might be the kind of thing a store like Best Buy could MOST use. But truly–I want to spend LESS, not more, time on the sites I want to shop on. I want to buy something (including research it), not build a relationship. If they can help me learn something useful, or make a more informed and appropriate decision, THAT would be great. But I don’t go to Best Buy to “engage”.

  72. Apple will get this right. They are (supposedly) going to be redesigning their online store with the focus of making the online experience more like the in-store experience:

    http://tinyurl.com/cpo6qx
    Nobody’s gotten user experience and design married like Apple has; now that marriage is being taken to online retail.

    On the Twitter note, Apple folks are now starting to “twitter” with the focus on customer experience:

    http://tinyurl.com/dyy4ns
    Not on secret topics, but I think it’s a hint at what’s to come. Imagine Steve Jobs twitting the “…and one more thing…” or “…and one more tweet…” – could replace any conference hype and reach more folks in a split second than any conference ever did.

  73. Apple will get this right. They are (supposedly) going to be redesigning their online store with the focus of making the online experience more like the in-store experience:

    http://tinyurl.com/cpo6qx
    Nobody’s gotten user experience and design married like Apple has; now that marriage is being taken to online retail.

    On the Twitter note, Apple folks are now starting to “twitter” with the focus on customer experience:

    http://tinyurl.com/dyy4ns
    Not on secret topics, but I think it’s a hint at what’s to come. Imagine Steve Jobs twitting the “…and one more thing…” or “…and one more tweet…” – could replace any conference hype and reach more folks in a split second than any conference ever did.

  74. [...] Later that day, as I was noodling on what he said, I ran into Robert Scoble. So I asked him – Do you think Web 2.0 is over? What he said was very illuminating, ”Until Best Buy puts people on its website, we’ve barely scratched the surface of Web 2.0.” You can read more of Scoble’s thoughts on his blog. [...]

  75. [...] Maybe Wooster isn’t the school for you… but maybe we can help you figure out which school is for you. Can you imagine any college saying something like that? I sure can’t. So why am I even thinking about it? Well, one reason is because of what I read on Scobleizer. He posted about his hypothetical Web 2.0 Expo keynote and in his post he mentioned that the only social media strategy you need is to figure out how to put people on your homepage. He also lists 5 points to back up this claim 1. The real social media strategy you should have is to get people to promote you. Most people are more likely to promote you if they think you’re listening to you. (Zappos does this by having more than 300 employees on Twitter who will fix any problem you have instantly). Amazon does it by having great reviews. If I review some products my name is on the site and I’m more likely to tell other people about Amazon than some other site, like Best Buy’s, that might have a lower price but doesn’t feature me. 2. Most people like a personal approach. I want to know that there’s real people behind a business. Best Buy’s approach feels cold. Zappos’ approach feels warm. You can feel it by visiting both of their sites. 3. It’s a lot harder to chose to screw some business when you know someone there. At Ford Motors there’s Scott Monty. Last weekend we bought a Toyota, but I feel guilty for not buying a product from Scott. This is a dude I’ve never met and only know from dealing with him on my blog and over on Twitter. Yet I feel guilty for not buying from him. (To be fair, Toyota has a bunch of people on Twitter too, but Scott was visible a long time before I knew Toyota was there). 4. Everyone goes through a sales process. I used to help run a consumer electronics store in Silicon Valley and I saw this up close and personal. But go to Best Buy and see if there’s a consultative approach. There’s none, other than “save 15%.” That doesn’t add value and doesn’t help me figure out which big screen I need. Add some blue shirts to the web site and we’ll go down the sales process together and close rates will go up. 5. Adding customers to the home page is low-cost but high return. ((Scobleizer Web 2.0 expo)) [...]

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