Best Buy Deals With Store Revolt On Price-Matching

The more chains try to dictate merged channel strategies—where online, mobile, in-store and call center are all part of one big happy homogeneous family—the more day-to-day realities interfere. Today's object lesson is from Best Buy. (Yes, again.) The merged channel issue here is compensation and credit; specifically, price-matching products from BestBuy.com in-store. The problem: Price-matching the E-Commerce site erodes margins and makes the store look bad, while sending the customer to a kiosk or their phone to order online makes the problem go away. The corporate problem: That's against policy. The corporate solution: Make the problem go away by ordering it to go away.

The issue started with one store (that we know of) posting a homemade sign telling customers, in effect, "Hey! You want online prices? Go buy online. You want to buy in our store? Pay what's on the &^@&! pricetag." Best Buy corporate heard about the sign and ordered all stores to indeed play by the rules and price-match. That's fine, except the chain didn't address the underlying issue. If that memo said brick-and-mortar managers will no longer have to take the hit for the lower margins of a dot-com price-match, then the problem would go away. Given Best Buy's history on this issue, it is certainly likely.

Suggested Articles

Costco changes up its menu items, and Alibaba and Guess partner for a physical store.

Janey Whiteside, Walmart's new chief customer officer, is well acquainted with the importance of customer service in modern retail.

Whole Foods will offer deals on Amazon's Prime Day, and tariffs against China are causing pricing hikes.