How Best Buy Uses Its Value Equation to Determine Which Laptops to Sell

Laptop MAGAZINE got the chance to sit down with “the most important person in the PC industry you’ve probably never heard of”, Best Buy’s Vice President of Computing. Jason Bonfig gave the low down of how Best Buy chooses which laptops to sell in its stores.

Due to the large number of retail stores throughout the United States, Best Buy has a lot of influence on the laptop market. But how does Best Buy choose which laptops will be sold in its stores? This is determined using the company’s very own value equation. Vice President of Computer, Jason Bonfig summarizes how the value equation works.

“The best way to describe the value equation is it takes every single component in a notebook and it actually puts a customer value on that component. Add up those parts and it actually comes up to a customer value for that product. And that value is compared to the retail price or the cost. And that value equation score can be articulated in a percentage, and that percentage deems which products are better value for customers. And when I say better value for customers it’s always based on the previous quarter sales information, so really what we’re doing is taking customer votes. There’s millions and millions of them each quarter, and we extract them down to the component level.” – Bonfig

Surprisingly, consumers really have more of a voice than they realize. For example, many customers told Best Buy that they wanted an easier way to get their PC content to their TV. Best Buy took this into consideration when it pushed laptops with Intel’s new Wireless Display technology.

Also in the interview, Bonfig classified netbooks as “stale”, due to their limited screen size, memory, and operating system. However, he does foresee tablets as becoming increasingly popular. As more tablets, aside from the Apple iPad, are released, Best Buy will have to determine how those tablets will be perceived by consumers.

“The number one thing we want to be focused on, if you see something from us in holiday, we want to make sure it has that back-end ecosystem set up so that customers are going to be very elated to the experience rather than disappointed,” said Bonfig.

In other words, if a prospective tablet does not have a strong content and application background, it won’t be as popular and may not make it to Best Buy’s shelves.

For more information, check out Laptop MAGAZINE’s exclusive interview with Best Buy’s Jason Bonfig.


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