- On Wednesday, Best Buy announced its new membership program called Best Buy Beta.
- The program will cost $199.99 per year and will be available in about 60 stores during the month.
- The new membership offer is the retailer’s latest effort to compete with Amazon.
Best Buy announced Wednesday that it is testing a new membership program.
The program is called the Best Buy Beta and offers customers special discounts, free product installation and delivery, as well as unlimited technical support for $199.99 a year or $179.99 for customers with a company store credit card.
The membership program is currently rolling out to select stores in Iowa, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, but will be available in Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee in April. It will have about 60 stores during the month.
The program puts Best Buy in direct competition with Amazon Prime, which offers a similar offer for $119 a year and has more than 150 million active members last year, according to data from Statista.
Amazon and Best Buy have long been competing for customers, and a recent report suggests that Amazon has considered more offers that could threaten Best Buy’s traditional operations.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that Amazon has considered creating its own discount stores for electronics and home goods. On the same day, Best Buy’s stock fell. Just last month, the retailer announced 5,000 layoffs and plans to close more stores.
While Best Buy has seen a rise in sales over the past year, buoyed by the work-from-home boom, the company noted in its latest earnings call that sales were beginning to decline.
Best Buy’s new membership program appears to align with the company’s goals. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, Best Buy announced a five-year plan focused on increasing e-commerce sales. The new program also places great emphasis on technical support with unlimited access to Geek Squad, as well as 24-hour concierge services – a sector in which the company thrives.
Alison Peterson, Best Buy’s chief customer officer, said in a company press release that she looks forward to continuing to develop membership programs. Best Buy already offers Total Tech Support for $199.99 per year, as well as a points program. The Total Tech Support program will be replaced by Best Buy Beta in stores where the new program has been launched.
Best Buy is not the first retailer to try to expand its membership programs. In September, Walmart unveiled Walmart+, a program that gives customers discounts on fuel and free delivery options.