Thursday, April 14, 2011

Retail Price Matching

I'm sure you've gone into a brick and mortar store and tried to have that store match the price of a website. They probably refused.

Quite a few big box retailers have decided not to price match websites. In fact, some stores including Wal-Mart won't even price match items found on or their own company website! And now the hot news topic is about some retail stores that are charging a "fitting fee." This is a fee charged to consumers to try on clothes. The fee is refunded if items are bought. Apparently, stores are getting fed up with consumers trying on clothes and then buying them online.

Is this a good policy? After all, E-Commerce is here to stay and a very valid rival for consumer dollars. No policy is going to change that. By having a blanket online price exception, you are strongly reinforcing the message that E-Commerce sites offer better deals. And you are then robbing yourself of the opportunity to fight that perception.

You can argue that websites have lower overhead and therefore can charge less. This may be true. But to not even price match against your own corporate website! That is wrong on so many levels. A customer is in your store with one hand on an item and the other on his wallet and the retailer decides not to do business with them. Probably because the sale can't be tracked back to the website and given proper credit. Some marketing guru with a Masters Degree determined that one!

Perhaps big box retailers forget that no-one has any money nowadays. Perhaps they don't care. Perhaps they didn't have dads continually beat into them that if a customer is willing to part with his or her hard earned money, take it any way you can and thank them very much.

My guess is that is making lots of money by the mere stupidity of others. And as long as companies refuse to merge channels and work in the best interest of the consumer, Amazon will make more!

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At 1:26 PM, Anonymous theshopfittingshop said...

I don't see why shops who have both online and high street stores have to sell the same products at different prices. Personally if companies are refusing to sell products at the same price then they should either shut down there online store or close their high street store.


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