This article is just devastating. I wish I could quote the whole thing.
[Amazon] keeps track of all previous orders, and uses its database to make helpful recommendations of other purchases. Phone support is instant, responsive, and knowledgeable. Returns are simple and unburdened by restocking fees and other gotchas. Inventory is precisely managed in a single system that spans all distribution points and third party partners.
Best Buy could have done all of this years ago, and done it better. It had decades of experience in retail, in customer service, in distribution, in forecasting, in marketing and sales. It had, one presumes, computer systems that could have been upgraded to integrate with a new online front end. It had expertise in the electronic products it sells, and potent leverage over key manufacturers to ensure favorable terms and access….
But Best Buy squandered all of those assets. And now, along with many of its big box peers, the company is caught in a death spiral. Not because of new competitors who, fairly or unfairly, are eating its lunch. These wounds are self-inflicted.
Gradually. Then suddenly.