7.19.2010

Best Buy Window Displays

Did you know that Best Buy now sells electric bicycles? I didn't, until this morning, when I walked past a Best Buy store here in Manhattan and saw a series of large window posters promoting the bicycle. The posters had a picture of the bicycle and some headline copy, nothing more, nothing less.

Question: For a company that already makes use of 2D barcodes in their advertising circulars, and which understands the value and benefit of what a 2D barcode can offer the client/prospect experience, why doesn't Best Buy display a 2D barcode on the posters? How perfect if the code resolved to a video that showed the bicycle in action, and then offered some sort of incentive to test ride and purchase. Or, because only select stores carry the electric bicycles and offers test rides, why not display a code that resolves to a store locator? Seems like a lost opportunity for Best Buy. Your thoughts?

4 comments:

  1. Sometimes, a window display and signage is more valuable left as a window display and signage than as a connection to a mobile experience.

    What's the intent? Get the Customer off the sidewalk and into the store. Did you go in?

    Would giving someone a video, while they are walking down the streets of Manhattan be more of a distraction/diversion and not a call to action to simply "walk in the door?"

    I think that all too often we are seeing misuse of QR Tags that generate entirely non-mobile experiences - where the signage real estate would be better used in other ways. My guess is that the BEST BUY sign conveyed and achieved exactly what it needed to do -- it got your attention and you were intrigued.

    Is a mobile connection and experience really necessary when you are "front and center?" Perhaps, not all the time?

    I think that we're all too fixated on the Scan-and-Deliver-a-Video as the be all and end all of mobile tech.

    Sometimes a video, on mobile, is really not the best experience. It's not how people use their mobile phones (generally) and it's an offering that is better left for a non-mobile moment (I don't have :60 when I'm walking down the street to pause and watch a video).

    What do I want from a Tag in front of a store? I want some contextual and perhaps personal engagement that delivers me something I may want, then and there. Chances are I don't want a video. If you want to get me in the door and to the cash register, and connect to me through my phone? Then, figure out how to have a quick conversation with me.

    If you do that, then the experience will be intuitive and seamless. And I might just buy something. There are tools out there to do this, automating personalization to mobile. They just aren't as sexy (nor as expensive) as pushing an impersonal video at me.

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  2. Bob:

    Thank you for the comment. Your points are well taken and, you are right, sometimes a mobile video does not make the most sense and a window display/promo should be simple and unencumbered. But, because I did not have the time to enter the store to learn more about the bike, that is why I thought it would be interesting if Best Buy offered a video that I could "take with me."

    Although I am a fan of 2D codes, by no means do I believe they belong everywhere and used in every situation.

    Bob, I welcome the opportunity to speak with you offline about your interest and understanding of 2D codes.

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  3. Roger,
    I agree with you. The code is non intrusive and voluntary. Placing the code gives the busy viewer (like yourself) THE OPTION of another communication channel. The bandwidth and technology is there so why not use it? Also with the ability to measure activity Best Buy could run parallel campaigns and test the results. With no code we'll never know if people paid attention to the sign or not.

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  4. All good points. One other reason the code does add value is that the store is not open 24/7. We have had discussions with several companies who feel this is one of the best reasons to add a code to a window display - information is still available even when they are closed. Maybe enough to entice the customer back or, in some instances, redirect them to another location that is open.

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