The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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Entries in Amazon (3)


Why I Am All In With Best Buy (And You Should Be, Too.)

As the most senior leader at Best Buy’s Seattle Technology Development Center, I - and my team - have interviewed and hired more than 60 full time employees and contract workers over the past 12 months.

As someone who is proud to have previously worked at Apple during the Steve Jobs era, led the launch of the first Android phone with Andy Rubin’s Google team at T-Mobile, and delivered digital innovations to fans of Discovery Networks, I am frequently asked in interviews why I would choose to work at Best Buy, a 50 year old brick and mortar retailer many analysts predicted would be dead by now.

During more than a few interviews with candidates I have heard, “I’ve seen your profile on LinkedIn. Why are you here?” All of the talented folks we have hired in the last two years have asked themselves at some point, “Why would I want to work at Best Buy?”

It‘s easy for me to answer, and if you are approached to consider an opportunity with us, I ask you to consider the following:

1)   Brick and mortar stores are definitely not dead. In fact, Warby Parker has now opened more than 20 locations in the US and Canada. Amazon has opened three stores and announced five more locations. Blue Nile has opened its first five mall stores. That is because the physical world gives us a chance to touch, hear, see and experience a product, as well as talk to an expert. When you seamlessly marry the physical world with the capabilities of a consumer smartphone, magic happens. And pure play e-tailers now understand this, too. At Best Buy, our stores play a large role in our e-commerce growth as about half of our online orders are either picked up by a customer in a store or shipped directly from a store to a customer’s home or office.

2)   Best Buy’s renewal is a turnaround success story. The stock market had been rewarding the decisions made by our CEO, Hubert Joly, before I started back in 2015. Shortly after Hubert was hired in fall of 2012, the stock price was less than $12. By December 2016, the stock reached $49. The company has consistently beat Wall Street expectations for profit, has gained market share and our customer experience scores have improved. The results of the turnaround have been consistent, credible and foundational to fuel our growth opportunities in the coming years.

3)   Change is part of Best Buy’s DNA. Change in technology is certain - competitors, vendors and innovators can disrupt the status quo at any time. A core Best Buy value, “learn from challenge and change”, has proven foundational to its successful turnaround because it empowers everyone in the company to allocate their time, attention and creative capital to the transformation agenda.

4)   The agent of change is digital. Best Buy opened the Seattle Technology Development Center to hire thought leaders who can lead the digital transformation of the omnichannel experience for the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer, and amplify work already underway in the development center at corporate headquarters in Minneapolis.  Since that time the company has seen great growth. After seeing online sales in Q3 increase by 24 percent, Barclays analyst Matt McClintock told CNBC: "That's one of the best e-commerce growth rates for the entire retail industry. That actually says that Best Buy is relevant online, that Amazon potentially isn't as big of a threat as people think for Best Buy as maybe it is for a Target or a Wal-Mart."

5)   Our passion is technology. As the leading consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy has the imperative to deliver revolutionary customer experiences for fans of consumer electronics; so, who is more capable of ensuring that customers are able to effortlessly enjoy the technology that powers their everyday lives than those of us who love our gadgets, the Internet of Things and mobile?

The team that Best Buy now has driving the business forward at the Seattle Technology Development Center raises my game every day. There was no way that I could have known that would be true when I started, given the number of them I had yet to meet back then. But if asked today why I would choose Best Buy, the team of dedicated and creative technology professionals (and CE fans) we have assembled would definitely be at the top of my list. See for yourself:

Best Buy's Seattle Tech Center from Yellow Tag Productions on Vimeo.



The Next Stage of Social Commerce  

Written by PHILIP ELLIS on 28 November, 2014 at 11:11 via

Following fruitful trials on Shopify and BigCommerce, Seattle-based company Zantler has rolled out its social commerce platform to retailers on Amazon Webstore this week, ahead of the busiest shopping month of the year.

Zantler’s Shoppost enables merchants to post shoppable content to a variety of online channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and blogs.

Merchants will now have the capability to import product information, including colour and size options, directly from Amazon Webstore to social media. There is also video functionality – something that Amazon Webstore currently doesn’t support on-site. Each post mirrors an online storefront, and comes complete with a buy button which transports customers directly to a branded shopping cart, essentially providing a seamless social shopping experience. 

Read more....

{Disclosure: I am a member of the Board of Directors of Zantler, a Seattle, WA based company.}


Is It Time For My Kindle Break-up?  

I still love my Kindle, although it now already feels like an 8 track stereo compared to the iPad. I am certain the bright color screen and page flipping will be more compelling than having the physical keyboard, although I can buy a keyboard dock for the iPad to compensate for any challenges I have with its onscreen multi-touch keypad. However, there is one thing I don’t think the iPad will do better than my Kindle and that is seamlessly connect me to wireless networks. With my Kindle, I never have to log in to a wireless hotspot, know an SSID or worry about proxy servers and sign in pages.    

The nookTM, which also uses AT&T hotspots, has a post on its help board online helps me clarify this point:

nook is programmed to automatically connect to the free AT&T Wi-Fi in any Barnes & Noble store...We see there are lingering questions about Wi-Fi ... So, for a point of clarity, you can connect on any 802.11b/g Wi-Fi hotspot, or wherever you have the SSID password. The exception to thie is Wi-Fi hotspots that use proxy settings (like you typically see in a hotel), where you have to enter a password or some other information before you can connect.

The truth is, for most consumers, even though free wifi is all around us it can still be somewhat confounding to connect to a hotspot with an iPod Touch, nook with a wireless-enabled device. Interstitial pages sometimes don't require logging in with credentials, but do require a web page to be clicked on. Occasionally, the iPod Touch is connected to the wireless network, but there is no Internet connection, making it unclear what state the device is in, until a browser is launched.

I  never have to ask someone for their network password to access wifi on a Kindle, and it doesn't ask me for a log in password to use my Amazon account when I lose connectivity and then re-connect. Every time my iPod Touch falls out of range of a wifi network, it seems to ask me for my iTunes login credentials when it discovers the wifi again. Once authenticated to the Amazon store, it sends me what I need as long as my Amazon account has a current credit card.

The frictionless access connectivity and consumption have spoiled me on my Kindle. I'm hoping Apple has fixed the machine to machine connectivity to be more seamless on an iPad than it has been on my iPod Touch. If so, somewhere during the 60 days till I can get my hands on an iPad, my Kindle and I will have the "it's not you, it's me" break up conversation.