As Best Buy continues to close stores due to dwindling sales, independent electronics dealers can take lessons from a variety of mistakes and challenges that have hurt the former big box leader of electronics sales. The primary issue for Best Buy, as defined by industry experts, is a consumer action referred to as "Showrooming". Showrooming occurs when consumers go to a big box store like Best Buy to see, touch and feel a product but then leave the physical location to buy the same product on the web. For Best Buy, the problem had become so prevalent that the electronics store was increasingly referred to as Amazon.com's showroom.
Best Buy isn't the only big box chain being punished as more consumers migrate to the web for purchases of electronics and other consumer items. In fact, the big box business model, which thrived in the 80's and 90's as consumers flocked to single locations with massive inventories, may have run its course as those same consumers can now go online to find the same variety of products at lower prices due to operational inefficiencies at large physical storefronts.
One of the key aspects factoring in to these inefficiencies at big box stores is actually an advantage for independent electronics dealers; the shrinking size of many home electronics such as desktop PC's to tablets, for example. While this dynamic challenges big boxes, the same factor allows independent electronics dealers to offer consumers a wider selection of products without adding additional shelf space.
As consumer electronics become increasingly commoditized, independent dealers won't necessarily be faced with the same challenges as big box stores, but should still train their focus on increasing their competitiveness in all areas of their businesses. These areas include improving efficiencies in their storefront operations, assessing the benefits of selling online, and looking to offer services that add value to the electronics they sell, such as setting up home networks that connect the ever-increasing number of devices and electronics that have become a part of the everyday life of today's consumers.