July 24, 2013, 9:40 AM

Best Buy Canada goes after women with an e-commerce site that offers more than electronics

Sales from Viva represent 10% of total online revenue.

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The Canadian arm of retail giant Best Buy Co. is branching out from its core category of consumer electronics with the recent launch of Viva, an online lifestyle and general merchandise e-commerce site geared toward women.

For the last year, Best Buy Canada has sold an expanded assorted of products online in the personal care, health and toys category, the merchant says. With Viva, the retailer aims to capitalize on the fact that around one-half of the customers who buy these products are women, whereas consumers who buy consumer electronics products from Best Buy skew male.

“We created Viva from Best Buy in response to feedback from our growing online customer base that was looking for product selection in key lifestyle categories,” says Aliya Reynolds, director of marketing for Best Buy Canada. “As part of our evolving online strategy, Viva aims to offer customers both an engaging and interactive online experience that includes product reviews and our own online community with a wide assortment of the top brands and products they are looking for.”

Launched in May, Viva now represents 10% of online sales for Best Buy Canada, according to a spokeswoman. The site has 4,000 SKUs in the baby, health and wellness, personal care, and natural and organics categories.

Best Buy Canada operates independently from Best Buy in the United States, the spokeswoman says, and she would not comment on whether the retail chain plans to implement the Canadian strategy in the U.S. or elsewhere.

E-commerce sales in Canada will grow at least 10% annually over the next five years, topping C$33.8 billion ($32.8 billion) in 2018, up from the C$20.6 billion ($20 billion) this year, according to a recent forecast from Forrester Research Inc.. Online sales as a proportion of total Canadian retail sales will grow to 10% in 2018 from 7% this year.

Best Buy is No. 10 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
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