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Best Buy Takes on Amazon Prime, Walmart+ With New Membership Program

Learn everything you need to know about Best Buy Beta. By Catherine Ibarra April 20, 2021

Best Buy has recently introduced a new membership program, Best Buy Beta, in select regions. The new program offers members an array of benefits, which include exclusive pricing, free standard shipping, unlimited Geek Squad support, and more.

The program is $199.99 per year, however, Best Buy card holders can sign up at a discounted rate of $179.99 per year. It also includes 24/7 concierge support that Best Buy customers would not have access to otherwise.

“As we look to evolve our membership programs, the goal of Best Buy Beta is to create a membership experience that customers will love and to leave them feeling confident throughout their relationship with Best Buy,” said Allison Peterson, Chief Customer Officer at Best Buy. “This pilot offers premium service, complete with support aimed at anticipating our customers’ needs.”

Best Buy Beta is currently available in participating stores across Iowa, Oklahoma, and eastern Pennsylvania. Additionally, it will soon be offered in select stores throughout North Carolina, Minnesota, and Tennessee by the end of April. At that point in time, the pilot will be available in approximately 60 U.S. stores.

Membership Benefits

Exclusive member pricing, free shipping, and Geek Squad support are only a few of the perks included in the membership program. Below is the full list of Best Buy Beta benefits.

  • Exclusive member pricing across product categories.
  • Free standard shipping without a minimum.
  • Free in-home delivery and installation on eligible products.
  • Unlimited Geek Squad support on your technology (even on items that were not purchased at Best Buy).
  • Concierge support available 24/7.
  • Two-year warranty on most purchases, including AppleCare on Apple items.
  • Extended 60-day return window.
  • 10% discount on subscription services that are billed through Best Buy.

Best Buy Beta vs. Competitors

Best Buy is set to take on Amazon Prime and Walmart+ with its latest membership program. Overall, Best Buy Beta provides more benefits than the existing membership service, Total Tech Support ($199.99), enabling the retailer to better compete with its rivals by ramping up its offerings. 

However, Amazon Prime remains more affordable than Best Buy Beta, costing only $119 per year or $12.99 per month while offering countless perks, such as Prime Video, Amazon Music Prime, Prime Reading, Prime Gaming, Amazon Photos, Prime Wardrobe, Amazon Pharmacy, Key by Amazon In-Garage Delivery, Prime Day, and many more.

While Amazon Prime offers more benefits than Best Buy Beta, Best Buy’s new program is superior in technical support, as members have access to unlimited Geek Squad services on all of their electronics, plus dedicated 24/7 concierge support. Additionally, most Best Buy purchases will include a two-year warranty, which is another perk that Amazon Prime does not provide. 

Walmart+, on the other hand, is by far the most affordable membership option, priced at $98 per year or $12.95 per month. Nevertheless, it is also the loyalty program that offers the fewest perks. Walmart+ currently provides members its Scan & Go app (a mobile app for in-store shopping), fuel discounts, and free shipping.

Even though Best Buy Beta is priced the highest at $199.99 per year, it provides more benefits than Walmart+ and leverages services that Amazon Prime does not offer. Best Buy’s latest membership initiative will likely be fruitful in reaching and retaining audiences that are more technology-focused.

Prediction

It is anticipated that more retailers will introduce new loyalty programs or enhance their current memberships to keep up with competitors and nurture their relationships with existing customers. 

Best Buy launched a new membership program with an array of perks to be more competitive in the space and provide consumers an elevated shopping experience. Walmart took a different approach as it replaced its existing loyalty program, Delivery Unlimited, with Walmart+ to expand its benefits beyond grocery deliveries and be more comparable to Amazon Prime offerings.

Since the new buyer behavior has shifted towards e-marketplaces, consumers are expecting greater benefits while shopping online, which has in turn increased the demand for membership programs. It is probable that more retailers will offer new or enhanced loyalty programs to meet rising consumer needs.

About the Author

Catherine Ibarra is a marketing consultant at Feedvisor, where she contributes to the company's content marketing initiatives. She has a technology background.

Final Thoughts

Best Buy’s new membership program may entice existing customers to sign up due to its array of perks. If the program is proven to be successful in select regions, it will likely be offered across more stores in the United States.

This new consumer behavior has raised the bar in what shoppers expect from retailers, as they want to receive greater benefits from shopping at e-marketplaces, which includes loyalty programs. The battle between retailers is now more complex than ever before as they compete to provide consumers the most elevated shopping experience.

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