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Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us are among the retailers that have put price-matching policies into place. But does it work?
According to January 2015 polling by BDO USA, price matching proved more successful last year. Among US retailers polled, 18% said it was the most successful promotional strategy used in the year prior to the study, up 8 percentage points year over year. Only free shipping ranked higher, at 26%, though this was down by 2 points from the previous study. As it rose to second place, price matching passed email and social media (down 8 percentage points) and tied with Thanksgiving weekend sales.
Price-matching policies make sense when one considers how easy digital has made it for consumers to check prices—in-store and on the go. According to September 2014 research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), comparing prices across competitors was the second most popular shopping-related digital activity conducted by US internet users. Fully 45% of respondents reported doing so via mobile phone, smartphone, PC or tablet—just 1 point behind No. 1 activity product research.
Similarly, November 2014 polling by Thomson Reuters found that the option to compare prices was one of the top drivers of online shopping. Fully 44% of US internet users said they shopped online during the holiday season because they could compare prices across retailers, the second-highest response.
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