Best Buy Launches API: Corporate Websites Extend to Open Web

Ignore Everybody

I’m sitting in the Mashery room here at SXSW, a circus themed ‘tent’ with popcorn and geeks galore, I’ll be posting live coverage of things that I see and hear that I think are interesting that matter to corporate web strategists.

A few years ago, I made a claim that corporate websites will be irrelevant. Why? the community –and trust– has shifted off the corporate domain. Similar to my coverage of the Guardian launchings an API, this API is powered by Mashery.

Best Buy launched an API called Remix, that went public yesterday here at SXSW. What is it? It’s the entire product catalog now available to third party developer who can remash the content and create their own version of BestBuy or something that the world has never been seen. I can think of some unique opportunities mixing product recommendations with your Facebook friends. Or pushing this data into GetSatisfaction, an outsourced support site, and allowing products to be better supported by the community.

[Best Buy extends their corporate website by allowing third party developers to build, remix, and innovate with their data.

What’s in it for the developers? First of all, it’s a large mass of content and data that can populate a site –this is great for attracting users, and for SEO. It’s free to use, although there’s an affiliate option where Bestbuy can be one of the options for retail. Best Buy doesn’t force developers to be part of this affiliate program if they choose to go the eCommerce route, instead they give developers the choice –as many developers will choose multiple retail options.

[The Best Buy website is now colonizing to the open web –it’s no longer the sole destination]

This isn’t a golden arrow for BestBuy as they still need to serve up a competitive price, and other services in the data to win over consumers. How did they convince executives? They made the argument that they’ve been releasing a catalog of data since 2000, and developers were already scraping the price –now they make it easier and faster. In order to spur innovation, they’re doing a ‘challenge’ campaign that encourages the community to do problem solving around their products. A popular example would be for the community to design a home theater system, building a digital camera kit with all the accessories, or even suggesting supplemental products for laptops –solution sell.

Considerations: What is the most popular content on your corporate site? Let it go, set it free, and let it bloom.

Update: Remix has a sample gallery, where you can see a few deployments, take camelbuys for example