Best Buy, a leading consumer electronics retailer, wanted to explore the viability of expanding its selection to include health and fitness departments within its stores. They were interested in how well customers would accept this brand expansion with a particular focus on creating a health and fitness shopping experience that would appeal to female shoppers.
In the discovery phase of this research plan, we conducted a series of in-home buddy groups with female shoppers who had recently purchased fitness equipment. Our goal was to understand the product research and decision-making processes as well as to identify the triggers for investing in home fitness equipment. During the sessions, we also collected stories about stores the participants liked as well as experiences with a selection of retailers including Best Buy.
Our researcher provided Best Buy with frequent updates throughout the discovery phase to assist Best Buy in the development of three uniquely staged in-store fitness departments. We recruited participants for in-home interviews and, as part of that consumer engagement, conducted shop-alongs to the Best Buy prototype fitness departments and an additional retailer within each area to get multiple data points.
The feedback we collected and provided guided Best Buy in both affirming the concept and selecting the direction of their in-store health and fitness departments. Health and fitness sections were added to stores across the country. Consumer expectations about the integration of consumer electronics with fitness equipment, as well as feedback on health and fitness impulse purchases, helped to guide initial product selection within those stores. Customer experiences relayed from the shop-alongs helped to guide which in-store set-up Best Buy would move forward with.