Last week, Staples announced that they will match prices from Amazon.com and other retailers, just in time for the holiday shopping season. In a recent MediaPost article by Chuck Martin, Martin shares his price match experience with Staples:
In about five seconds, I found that same electronics item [via the ShopSavvy price comparison app] for $115 at Target. I showed my phone to the cashier and she checked to make sure the item number was the same on my phone and on the product and she instantly matched the price. No questions, no hassle (though she did need a manager to sign off on it, which took an added few seconds).
Needless to say, Martin’s experience was quick and painless. Staples not only helped save Martin $45, but they also kept him from taking his business elsewhere.
As the holiday shopping season quickly approaches, retailers are busy implementing and testing strategies that can retain existing customers and incentivize new business. Offering special discounts and price match guarantees can be an effective strategy to quickly gain new business and build customer loyalty; however, it can also be very risky.
By keeping the price match process minimal and user-friendly during the purchase process, you are removing unnecessary obstacles that may cause online shoppers to abandon their carts. And with the many product review sites and coupon sharing websites such as Retailmenot.com, a bad coupon or false guarantee could be very damaging to your brands credibility. If you don’t keep your word, the word will spread fast.
Here are some tips on how to make your in-store mobile shopper’s price match experience easy and efficient.
Keep pricing in sync
Make sure that your prices are all updated and consistent throughout all marketing channels, including your website and mobile app (if you have one). Make sure the messages across your search, social, mobile, and display campaigns also reflect these updates as well. Keeping all of these channels updated and consistent allows price comparison apps, such as ShopSavvy, to display the most accurate and updated prices to their users.
Integrate your marketing message throughout ALL departments
Consistent pricing is important, but integrating a consistent marketing message within all your departments is even more important. Not only does it keep employees in sync with the latest marketing messages and promotional offers, it creates a smooth shopping experience for your customer and stops competitors from winning over your business by offering the same discounts with additional price breaks.
A well-oiled machine
In my previous blog post about mobile shopping, I mention how important it is for companies to maintain a consistent marketing message throughout all their marketing channels. Additionally, companies must ensure that all their departments understand and are aware of new or frequently changing marketing messages. This means that customer service needs to be as integrated with all promotional offers too, especially when it comes to in-store mobile shoppers. Make sure customer service is aware of your price match guarantee policy, process, and how customers are able to check prices via mobile apps, etc.
Keep your customers happy
What’s more irritating than standing in a long line, getting up to the register and hearing “let me check with my manager to see how we handle price matches”? Not only do you have a trail of mumbling shoppers waiting behind you, you are now considering taking your business elsewhere if they don’t match your price. Don’t let this happen to your customers.
Keeping customer interacting employees up to date with all promotional offers will make it quick and easy for customers to get through the checkout line. They’ll have the confidence that they can add more to their shopping cart and save savvy shoppers the embarrassment of hearing “can I get a price check on adult ‘Santa-sized’ Hawaiian boxer shorts for men.”
Price match guarantees may seem a bit risky, since businesses essentially have to honor lower prices than they intend to. And although you may lose out on a couple of bucks with price matching, you keep your customer from buying from competitors, retain loyal customers, and instill trust with new ones.