Amazon Best Buy

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

18 April 2018

Who wins the Amazon Best Buy partnership?

The recently announced Amazon Best Buy partnership is not the kind of partnership where Best Buy is opening a store within a store on Amazon. Rather, this is a much more symbolic kind of partnership.

Amazon Best BuyBest Buy offers Amazon Fire TV built-in to select Insignia (Best Buy’s house brand) and Toshiba brands. Of course, these TVs will be available online but they’ll also be ready for purchase at Best Buy brick-and-mortar stores.

Most traditional retailers see Amazon as the murderer of retail, at least the in-store version of retail. These same retailers have either been too slow adapting to the Amazon juggernaut or fail in adapting at all.

Most of them have no clue on how to compete in the rapidly evolving digital retailing environment. They cry, “Amazon is killing brick-and-mortar!” The latest victim being Bon-Ton.

But retailers can only blame themselves. Brick-and-mortar retailers are either too stupid or lazy to get out of their own way and think about what to do differently.

“For Amazon, its Alexa ecosystem acquires more customers. While it seems like a win for everyone, I personally think Amazon wins a little more than Best Buy or the consumer here.”

However, the partnership signifies an effort, at least. Granted, Best Buy missteps all the time, but it’s doing much more than other retailers. The Amazon Best Buy partnership is proof of that.

What does the Amazon Best Buy partnership do for Amazon?

Let’s flip this around. Amazon also gets it. There are a whole section of consumers who just prefer watching a TV at the store before buying. Walk into a Costco on any Sunday and this behavior bubbles in full action.

We buy many things online but TVs are a bit like cars. Most people wouldn’t buy a new car without driving it first.

So, Amazon figures out a way to hold a presence in brick-and-mortar spaces without actually having to sell anything. Rather, it lets Best Buy sell them. Consumers cutting the cord look at a TV with Fire TV built in as a value. Best Buy gets an exclusive that leaves competitors Walmart and Costco out in the cold. (As well as other TV manufacturers.)

For Amazon, its Alexa ecosystem acquires more customers. While it seems like a win for everyone, I personally think Amazon wins a little more than Best Buy or the consumer here.

Ultimately, this Amazon Best Buy partnership makes sense. Amazon adapts to the consumer wants and needs by getting into brick-and-mortar. Traditional brick-and-mortar needs to stop all their bitching and adapt to the wants and needs of the consumer in the same way.

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