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To Compete With Amazon, Best Buy Brings Back The Traveling Salesman

Best Buy and Amazon are taking sales in-house, literally.

Both of the retail giants have been testing and expanding programs to deliver face-to-face electronics consultations and installations to customers in their homes, the Wall Street Journal reports.


Amazon first launched the service a little over a year ago sending salespeople to encourage shoppers to test its Echo smart speakers and voice-controlled devices from the comfort of their own abode.

Best Buy is now following the e-commerce giant's lead, hiring hundreds of salespeople to offer free one-on-one advice and customer service from shoppers' homes. The electronics company has been testing the service for several months with plans to launch officially across the U.S. this fall. So far the retailer's initial program tests have been positive, the Journal reports, with results showing people tend to spend more when provided consultations at home versus in store.

Best Buy controls about 29% of the U.S. consumer electronics market, Walmart has 14% and Amazon controls about 11.2%, the WSJ reports. 

Amazon has been searching for ways to make shopping easier for consumers for some time now. In February, the company tested out a drive-up grocery store concept and in late 2016 began testing cashier-free technology that will allow customers to pick up their items and pay without going through the checkout process — though this has since been put on hold due to some technical issues.