You can’t beat Best Buy’s prices this season… not even online. That’s because Best Buy announced this week that it will match any online price.
I’ve gotta hand it to Best Buy, this is a bold — yet potentially disastrous — move for a once-dominant electronics retailer that’s now become a showroom for gadget shoppers that go home and buy the same products online for less.
This “showroom” phenomenon is exactly what Best Buy is fighting against. Despite everything you can learn online, a certain segment of consumers want to touch/feel/compare products in person.
Best Buy obviously wants to make sure that they catch shoppers in that moment when they’ve made the decision to buy, before they leave the store. And a “price match” scheme seems like an obvious solution…
But is it sustainable? And even more important, will it even work?
According to PandoDaily’s Michael Carney, the price match offer could really hurt Best Buy. He downloaded InvisibleHand’s price comparison software and apparently found that Best Buy’s prices are, drumroll please… not the lowest. He found that approximately 75% of the items offered on Best Buy are cheaper on Amazon by an average of 17%.
Even if the price match offer works, it’s hard to image that it would be good fro the struggling bricks-and-mortar retailer’s bottom line. It may bring some more sales through the door… but lose money on each of them.
I mean, loss leaders are one thing — they pretty much drive the entire Black Friday/Cyber Monday phenomenon. But offering an online price match with Amazon opens Best Buy up to lose money on just about every item it sells.