Best Buy Boosts Online Sales 155% Thanks to Curbside Pickup

Almost half of all sales in the six weeks following March store closures used curbside pickup.

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Need to Know

  • Best Buy’s first-quarter earnings report shows the retail chain exceeding online sales expectations.
  • A huge spike of 155% in online sales as the retailer shifted to curbside pickup and digital-only retail in mid-March
  • Best Buy was able to hit 81% of last year’s sales in final six weeks of the quarter.

Analysis

Electronics chain Best Buy reported its first-quarter results on Friday, with a spike of 155% year-over-year in online-only sales.

The massive surge in digital sales came after the retailer switched to curbside pickup and shuttered its bricks-and-mortar stores on March 22, due to restrictions and health concerns imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the six weeks following the March 22 store closures, Best Buy’s domestic online sales in the US were up more than 300% compared to the same time in 2019, with almost half of those sales coming from customers who were selecting curbside pickup. According to Best Buy CEO Corrie Barry, a survey revealed that 83% of consumers who used the curbside pickup option were satisfied with the experience.

“At the same time, we have been innovating and designing digital experiences that solve customer needs across online and physical shopping,” Barrie said on an earnings call.

“As a result, the team was very quickly able to stand up a robust and seamless customer experience for both the curbside pickup process and the new in-store consultation process.”

Despite the spike in online sales, Best Buy reported an overall earnings dip, with net income for the quarter ending May 2 falling to to $159-million, or $0.61 a share, down from $265-million, or $0.98 a share, this time last year. Revenue, meanwhile, dropped to $8.56-billion; the company had estimated a revenue amount of $8.24-billion for this quarter.

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