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Best Buy’s Online CRM Move: Focus On Why Conversion Rate Is Low

June 14th, 2013

Consider the first two suggestions: “write product reviews or post purchases on Facebook in exchange for points.”

The value of both programs—reviews on BestBuy.com and Best Buy purchases mentioned on Facebook—resides in credibility, which directly speaks to how persuasive these posts will be to others. The best reviews come out of a strongly positive or negative experience the shopper had with the product. As an editor, it’s easy to tell when a writer comes up with something to get it over with or to check off some box, as opposed to having something that the writer really wants to say, a specific point that she/he wants to make.

By offering points of other incentives, the retailer is just encouraging people to post when they have nothing to say. If a shopper buys a USB cable and it arrives and works as it should, there’s likely little desire to write about it and probably no compelling points to make. By encouraging such posts, the chain is undermining the content quality of its own reviews section. It’s self-destructive, given how extremely persuasive well-done review sections can be.

The same goes for Facebook posts. And the public nature of this program makes the problem even worse, to the extent that shoppers will start to ignore these forums as the number of passionless “did it just to get the points” posts start to dominate.

Another issue it the lack of immediacy. The story said the plan is for these activities to generate “points that can later be redeemed for perks and discounts.” Why later? If BestBuy.com said “use your loyalty number and enjoy an immediate XX percent discount at checkout,” that could address both pricing and provide a realtime inducement.

If shoppers are exploring a site, they have no idea when—or if—they’ll be back and whether they’ll even remember that they have some reward pending. That means that the incentive is minimal. If the chain wants to boost CRM usage—and there are plenty of reasons to want to do so—make the reward immediate.


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