Is Your Price Matching Policy Doing More Harm Then Good?

Is Your Price Matching Policy Doing More Harm Then Good?

Only one retailer can truly offer the most competitive price on an item- so how can everyday low price companies like Walmart all offer “the lowest price, guaranteed?” Many retailers are developing innovative price matching technology solutions to allow the frugal shopper to purchase all their products at one retailer, eliminating the worry that they may or may not be getting the best deal.

The Fine Print Around Price Match Guarantee

We’re all familiar with the red tape and fine print associated with the more traditional price matching policies that often deter customers from putting them to use. Target will price match, only if the customer brings their receipt, proof of a competitor’s advertised price for the exact same item, the item is still in stock, and the competitor is within the same market. They only match to a few select websites, and it must be within seven days. Best Buy’s policy excludes multiple purchases of the same item, all clearance items and purchases made on Black Friday. And JC Penney won’t price match unless the advertised lower price is at a brick and mortar store- it won’t match against any online retailers.

Relying on a Third Party for a Price Match Guarantee

The different policies and regulations can get confusing.  Many shoppers instead have turned to price comparison apps like Retail Me Not, ShopSavvy, and Red Lasar to ensure they only paying the lowest price. There is even the Amazon Price Check app that lets users scan a barcode or take a photo of an item in store and compare it to the price offered online at Amazon.

Finding the Common Ground of Price Matching

Now, many leading retail organizations are following suit and are creating more customer-friendly price matching solutions that will ensure the customer that they will get the lowest price at their store. They have integrated competitive pricing data into their strategies and policies, to automate the price matching process right on their shoppers’ smartphones, to ease the minds of their shoppers that they are getting the best deal.

Walmart, for example, has implemented The Savings Catcher™, an interface within their mobile application and website, this past August. All the customer needs to do is scan in or enter their receipt number, and Walmart compares their prices with those of local competitors. If there is a low price discrepancy, the customer will receive a gift card with the difference.

Morrison’s, a major supermarket in the UK, has implemented a similar program, Match & More, to compete will other grocers, even discount grocery stores like Aldi and Lidl, though they themselves are not an EDLP store. Match & More will automatically check the items a customer buys against a database of products from their competitors- both brand name and own label. If there is a similar item offered for less elsewhere, the customer will earn points back and will be awarded a coupon for every 5,000 points accumulated. They are hoping to neutralize prices and offer the best value.

Eliminating the shoppers worry around pricing

The idea is that consumers can rest easy that they are getting the lowest prices with retailers who are integrating competitive pricing data into their price match policies and offering rewards, coupons and store credit for their higher prices, without the customer even asking. If they are confident in the low price guarantees, customers will do more of their buying at that particular store. Retailers are hoping to increase loyalty to their store and offer a better value than their competitors by offering the most competitive prices for their SKUs.


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Seth Nagle, Senior Marketing Manager at RW3 Technologies understands the power of innovation but also its limitations. Attending Salve Regina in New England, starting his career in Silicon Valley, and now living in Austin, Texas; Seth provides a unique tech perspective to a complex CPG and Retail Grocery Industry that is in constant disruption.

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