The topic of price matching policies implemented by retailers comes up quite a bit. I can’t help but wonder how the customer will view these in the future. Of particular interest is the use of such policies to match price in store with the retailer’s online pricing. Case in point, Target. This weekend after researching a product online I traveled to my local Target store to be their guest. The product I sought was not available to be ordered online and picked up at store. At the shelf I noticed that the price was $5 more than what I had seen online. To its credit Target associates quickly and politely changed the price to that which I had displayed on my phone.
So generally I was pleased however I wonder if customers won’t tire of having to do this work for the retailer. In fact is it really somewhat dishonest? Basically it is saying that it will give me its best price if I find out it is offering a lower price elsewhere among its channels. I am not picking on Target as this is a common practice. I do think this goes back to trust and loyalty. Can I trust a company that will gladly charge me more than I would have to otherwise pay through a different channel? Can you really call yourself omni-channel if your prices do not match? These are the hard questions retailers must answer.
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