Suggestion For Best Buy

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Best Buy car audio dept

Here’s another suggestion for Best Buy from Strategy Analytics’ Roger Lanctot, (who told the mega retailer to put car audio in the front of the store in an earlier blog).

The analyst’s newest suggestion is that Best Buy jump on the bandwagon for usage based insurance (UBI); and yes, that might benefit the smaller car audio specialist.

A UBI device can plug into the car’s OBD2 port and track your driving so safe drivers can get discounts on insurance.  You would think that no retailer was needed, right?  Lanctot disagrees.

Even though the consumer can plug in the OBD2 device himself, there is still so much confusion around the product and service that there is a role for retailers and installers in the sale, he says.

In a blog last week, Lanctot said Best Buy should work with select UBI companies in a deal where the store installs and explains the UBI devices to consumers, who might then get a coupon towards Best Buy goods.  Throw in an anti-texting feature in the package, and now you have the fuel for a great consumer awareness campaign that makes  Best Buy look like the king of the Connected Car.

“Best Buy has a role to play in installing and explaining. It’s a product that needs to be explained, it’s not a no- brainer,” said Lanctot, who expects the UBI market to reach about 3.25 million users in the U.S. this year, and up to 1 million of those sales might take place at a retailer (including Verizon Wireless stores).   Last year the UBI market was 1.8 million almost exclusively through insurance companies, and not at retail, he told us.

“You can’t just take Car Connection and sit it on a shelf somewhere. It has to be explained,” he added, speaking of Voxx’s  aftermarket device .  (You can add it to a remote start sale and it will score your driving as a kind of practice run for UBI).

As for Lanctot’s suggestion, yes, we know Best Buy may not have a  strong history as the great explainer of car audio equipment (its deal to do just that with Ford SYNC systems fell flat).

But if Best Buy ever does exercise its potential in the Connected Car, it might help other retailers, as well.

See Lanctot’s blog here.


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