Subscription membership plans are all the rage, and Best Buy (BBY -0.34%) wants in on the action. The electronics retailer announced on Wednesday that it is piloting a new membership plan called Best Buy Beta. The membership will include a host of benefits for subscribers to rival services such as Amazon (AMZN -0.48%) Prime and Walmart's (WMT -1.61%) Walmart+.
The plan will offer free shipping with no minimum order, which has become the cornerstone of rival memberships. Best Buy is putting its own spin on the program by extending the return window to 60 days and offering two-year warranty protection on most purchases, including AppleCare on Apple (AAPL -0.54%) products. Members will also enjoy free in-home delivery and installation for the majority of Best Buy purchases.
There are several other benefits that will appeal to customers who are fans of Geek Squad. Best Buy Beta will provide unlimited technical support on all tech products in your home -- whether you purchased them from Best Buy or not. Subscribers will also have access to exclusive member pricing on a wide range of products and dedicated concierge support exclusive to members.
The program is now available at select stores in Iowa, Oklahoma, and eastern Pennsylvania. The plan will expand later this month to include locations in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The pilot will eventually encompass 60 stores.
Amazon pioneered the membership program with free shipping as a foundation and over the years has added a host of other value-added benefits to entice members to stick around. While current estimates vary, Amazon announced early last year that it had more than 150 million Prime members.
Walmart+ has only been around since late last year, but evidence suggests it's off to a strong start. Just seven months after its debut, the service has between 7.4 million and 8.2 million members, according to estimates provided by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.