Walmart is stepping up their price-matching policy, allowing consumers to compare the price of in-store merchandise to not just Amazon’s lowest price, but other online retailers as well. The Consumerist reports that after many Walmart store managers began matching prices on a case-by-case basis, the company informed the management this week that the policy is now officially in place at every Walmart store across the nation.
That means shoppers can walk in to a Walmart store to buy a TV, use their smartphone to check for the lowest price on Amazon or another online retailer, and request to have the price matched. If a shopper finds that the price is lower (or the same) online (even on Walmart’s online site), it may prompt them to make the purchase right away while they are in the store. That’s a win for the world’s largest retailer and a big deal for price-conscious holiday shoppers.
“We are expanding our Ad Match policy to be the most progressive in the industry. Through our Online Price Match policy, customers will be able to request the list price at Walmart.com or any online competitor. Store management has the authority to take care of the customer and match any online competitor to ensure a positive, hassle-free customer experience.”
The New York Times reports that Walmart’s latest quarterly report showed an “upturn in comparable-store sales for the first time in almost two years.” Price-matching can only help strengthen the retailer, especially ahead of what many are saying will be a very competitive holiday season.
With Black Friday just two weeks away, it’s already apparent that big-box stores like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target are fighting for the business of holiday shoppers. The Walmart price matching policy will undoubtedly draw even more business to their 5,000-plus stores during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, especially if consumers do their homework before they set out to do their holiday shopping.
Armed with a smartphone filled with apps for online retailers like Amazon, savvy consumers will be able to score the best deals on the items they want without having to spend hours driving store-to-store.
Do brick-and-mortar retailers other than Walmart have a price-matching policy in place? Many stores do, but the rules vary. Target states that they will not match another retailer’s clearance price and will not price-match if a shopper finds a lower price at another Target store. Best Buy has been price-matching for quite some time, but will only match the price of select retailers, including Amazon, Crutchfield, and Tiger Direct.
[Images: MissXPose, Interaction Design]