Women buy more than $55 billion of consumer electronics every year and influence roughly 75 percent of all the category’s purchases. And sales are projected to grow a healthy 6 percent per year.
Best Buy, the $24 billion company, recently launched the Jill Initiative, a program targeting tech- and trend-savvy working suburban moms with disposable income. To lure more Jills into Best Buy’s big box stores, the chain has introduced a new prototype featuring six “experience zones.”
• Entertainment Connection – play games, movies and music
• Home Theatre Zone – grab a seat on the couch, snack on some popcorn and check out the latest plasma screen TV in a completely furnished home theatre environment
• The Geek Squad – computer experts tackle service, upgrades and advice
• Computer Zone – allows hands-on interaction with the latest desktops and laptops
• Entertainment – browse the newest on-the-road gadgets
• Appliances – contains three distinct kitchen models, all decked out with computers, DVD players and TVs.
What’s the benefit of all this? It allows women to see electronics in a natural environment. This is a dramatic change from the days of rows and rows of amplifiers, tuners, TVs, and DVDs plopped down on long shelves with little more than a price tag to explain the differences. Women value understanding how a product will fit into her life. If you can show her how it will look in her living room, you’re halfway there.
It gives women a memorable experience. Women enjoy retail environments that invite discovery, and this prototype plays perfectly to that natural curiosity.
It acknowledges that women are just as likely as men to be early adopters of technology.
And my bet is that it’s going to be a big success.