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Case Study

Waitwhile enables safe and seamless shopping for Best Buy Canada

Company

Best Buy

Offices

British Columbia, Canada

Industry

Retail

Type

B2C

Best Buy uses Waitwhile to safely manage customers and curbside pickup within 169 retail locations across Canada.

Founded in 1966 by Richard M. Schulze and James Wheeler. Best Buy is a multinational consumer electronics retailer, following a vision of enriching lives through technology.

5.5M

Customers served

169

Stores on Waitwhile

The Challenge

The primary challenge happened during Canada’s peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. With rules varying from location to location, Best Buy needed a solution to manage customers still coming to the stores in a safe way that would be scalable to 169 stores - while still allowing each location to adhere to their specific local guidelines. In addition to allowing shopping for customers during the pandemic, a second use case was explored that had been on Best Buy’s radar for awhile: an order pickup that included curbside service. Canada’s laws presented an extra challenge with physical distancing and even curfews for some areas. Stores needed a way for customers to safely let Best Buy locations know that they have arrived at a specific time, allowing employees to bring their order out to the customer’s car and loading it into the vehicle for them.

The Solution

Best Buy incorporated Waitwhile into their daily business in two different ways.

1. Curbside Pickup

Best Buy locations found the best way to implement curbside pickup was to send customers a notification when the order was ready for them. This notification is loaded with information, telling the customer the store opening hours and other details, to let them know when to arrive. More importantly, the email sent to the customer has a simple button that customers can use to check in.

This webpage links the customer to the specific curbside pickup queue for the store where the order was placed, making it easy for the customer to get connected with the right location.

To give more options for their customers, Best Buy added signage at the locations giving customers the option to avoid email all together and to instead join the queue just by texting ‘JOIN’ to a phone number associated with the queue. This effectively allowed the customer to alert the store that they have arrived, making it easy for the store to reply back and ensure a really smooth pickup experience.

2. Waitlist

No one wants to stand outside of a store building during winter, and Canadian Best Buy customers are no exception. The virtual Waitlist feature that Waitwhile offers allowed Best Buy to invite customers to text and join queues within the stores remotely. “If they needed to go into appliances or into the mobile section to sign up for a mobile phone, or even geek squad services, with Waitwhile they could easily do that.

We encouraged customers to follow that process and it ended up being very successful.”, says Ashley Sims, Product Manager & Product Owner at Best Buy Canada. Once customers got into bigger store locations, it gave them the freedom and the flexibility to walk around and be in different parts of the store where they felt safer, instead of waiting in line for their order, service, or returns. This allowed them to save their spot in line, do something else while they waited, and then they would be notified when they’re next to be served.

“With over 3 million customers queued through Waitwhile, we’ve already given them over 140,000 days back. It’s been seamless!”

Cliff Stefanuk
Project Manager, Best Buy

Products used

Waitlist

Manage lines of guests and resources.

SMS

Keep an open line of
communication and update
customers on their appointments.

Curbside Pickup

Allow people to safely wait in their car and be notified when their order is ready.

The Result

Best Buy’s Customer feedback survey data shows that the customer sentiment around the experience is incredible.

“The verbatims that came back directly from customers really just spoke to the ease of use, the experience, and how safe and comfortable they felt just from the curbside pickup experience.” - says Cliff Stefanuk, Product Manager & Product Owner at Best Buy Canada.

Waitwhile helped Best Buy to adhere to the strict guidelines imposed by their local governments and believe it wouldn’t have been possible without the Waitwhile app. Even local bylaw enforcement officers would visit a location and comment on the excellence of the setup they had because they were able to serve people that way.

“The customer feedback was amazing. The feedback from government by law officers was exceptional, and then from our staff and our associates as well, the feedback was just incredible. They loved that Waitwhile was so easy to use, it kept everybody safe, it was very easy for us to operationalize in that. We went to pilot, people picked it up right away with very minimal training material, and then we were able to scale that out on a national level quite quickly.” - adds Cliff Stefanuk.

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