Best Buy will announce later this month, a new rental program that lets you try out products before you buy them, it told Recode.
Consumers will be able to try out audio equipment, cameras and fitness trackers. They may try out an Apple watch for a week, or a Sonos speaker. Or they can rent 3 different types of headphones for comparison. The products are expected to be mainly open box, returned goods.
The option will be offered on Best Buy’s web site, but once you click on it, you are taken to Lumoid, a San Francisco startup that coordinates the rental.
Customers pay a fee that can be applied toward the purchase price.
The program would give Best Buy a new way to profit from open box goods and give it a competitive edge over Amazon.
Recode quoted Lumoid’s founder Aarthi Ramamurthy as saying that customers are no longer walking into brick and mortar stores for discovery of new products. “They already know what they want and they just go in to get it.” Or, they go in to try it out, we would add.
Lumoid’s best results in converting renters to shoppers is in the wearable electronics category, where about 1 in 3 renters buy the product, said Recode.