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Dear Retailer, Are You Lying to Me?

by Robert Hetu  |  August 3, 2015  |  3 Comments

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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Category: pricing-policy  retail-trends  

Tags: competition  consumers  customer-analytics  merchandising  multichannel  omni-channel  price-transparency  pricing  retail  satisfaction  

Robert Hetu
VP, Analyst Retail
7 years at Gartner
29 years IT Industry

Bob Hetu is a Research Director with the Gartner Retail Industry Services team. His responsibilities involve tracking the technology markets and trends impacting the broad-based retail merchandising and planning areas. Mr. Hetu is an expert in the areas of brand, vendor and assortment management, merchandise planning, allocation, and replenishment. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Dear Retailer, Are You Lying to Me?

  1. […] Robert Hetu The topic of price matching policies implemented by retailers comes up quite a bit. I can’t […]

  2. Leslie says:

    This is a challenge for the retail community and one I believe needs to be addressed. Customer loyalty is on the line. Customers are smarter and will shop where they believe they are respected or move to next retailer down the omni block

    • Robert Hetu says:

      So true Leslie, and loyalty will be even more precious in the future as options continually increase for the consumer.

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