Walmart already has a price match program at its brick-and-mortar locations, where you can show them a lower advertised price for a product they carry, and Walmart will match the price. This holiday season, the major retailer is considering expanding that price match program to also match online prices from rivals like Amazon.com.
The concern among Walmart brass is how much the program could potentially cut into profits, even if it does make the store more competitive among other discount retailers. Walmart is already fighting to keep customers in its stores, as dollar stores and online retailers have made the competition more fierce.
Other big-box retailers like Target and Best Buy have already implemented online price match programs to prevent customers from “showrooming,” or checking prices on products at brick-and-mortar locations and then making the purchases at online competitors like Amazon. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are planning to do more than 44% of their holiday shopping online this year, which is up 13% from five years ago.
Would you be more likely to do your holiday shopping at Walmart if they introduced an online price match program? How often do you make use of programs like this at other retailers? Do you think it will help or hurt Walmart more?
Kit Yarrow, consumer research psychologist and professor at Golden Gate University in San Francisco
Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester Research, technology research company based in Cambridge, MA