September 05, 2012

Get Ready for the Future of Shopping!

 

As you're packing for this week's Shop.org Annual Summit, it's useful to keep in mind how digitizing the retail experience for your business's consumers via APIs can really make your business stand out as an innovative and more influential player in the retail space. To help keep things in perspective before the show, we'll use Best Buy as a case-in-point example for how a traditionally brick-and-mortar store transformed its business model into one that has proven great success in this post-website era.

THE PROBLEM

Best Buy was facing a uniquely modern business challenge with a consumer behavior known as “showrooming”. Customers would go into their neighborhood Best Buy store to investigate their purchase of a high-dollar item, like a stereo or television. They’d kick the proverbial tires, ask the knowledgeable staff questions about product functions, product comparisons, and get the “feel” for what they wanted to buy. The problem, however, was that rather than purchasing their new Blu-Ray player from the store, customers would instead go back home, find and buy the product online for the lowest possible price.

THE SOLUTION

Showing savvy business thinking, rather than trying to rework consumer shopping behaviors, Best Buy learned to take their cues on sales from their customers. Part of this strategy included making huge amounts of their data open, including what their inventory was in real-time, and distributing the buy button. Welcome to the future of Best Buy: for instance, now, a customer can take a photo or snap a QR code in-store and go straight to purchasing what they need.

Check out the details for yourself of all of the myriad ways BBYOpen makes Best Buy data more useful, more user-friendly, and more exciting. With this collection of APIs, there’s tons of potential for building new apps. There’s broad swaths of information on topics like product availability stores, or niche experiences like the best answers employees have for hard questions about technology.

THE BENEFITS

Showcases of APIs made available with open-data programs like like BBYOpen are part of why we’re so happy to be a part of making those business connections and partnerships here at Mashery. More than just an attitude of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” it’s moreso a great way to illustrate the concept of keeping the customer in mind first and understanding how to future-proof a business in a smart, forward-thinking way.

Apps like ShopSavvy have built on the BBYOpen platform to bring specific use cases to life. ShopSavvy is one of the most sophisticated, complete product search apps, making sure customers always have access to the best (and most affordable) options for purchasing items like those sold in the Best Buy stores.

Want even more apps? Bigger companies like Citibank, Chase, and eBay are partnering up with Best Buy for access to their cloud API. These kinds of partnerships drive real sales, based on the huge audiences large enterprise developers can bring in.

These kinds of businesses are making great strides in aiding developers to get to the information that helps customers make smarter choices and purchases. Helping customers, strengthening business models, and supporting innovation amongst developers -- everyone wins.

THE TAKEAWAY

Developers: if you’re interested in using data from Best Buy to help power everything on your app, from product availability in stores, to QR codes, product reviews, and more, check out BBYOpen.

Retailers: If you want to embrace this kind of innovation with your APIs, read more about how you can integrate your multi-channel strategy solutions, accelerate your business's mobility, create affiliate flexibility and enable innovation here.