It’s all in an effort to curb the growing practice of showrooming, wherein customers pop into Best Buy to check out a product in person and then go online to buy it from someone else.
A rep for the retailer tells the Wall Street Journal that only about 40% of the people who enter a Best Buy store actually walk out with a purchase during that visit. “We have a tremendous opportunity to increase that close rate,” said the rep about the still-vague plans to offer price-matching.
The price-mathing may not cover all products, and you can be sure that there will be restrictions on which sites they will match.
For sites like Amazon that also allow third-party vendors to sell items on the site, we would have to believe that Best Buy will only price match an item that is actually being sold by Amazon, as opposed to “Bill’s TV, HiFi, Bait & Tackle Shoppe.”
In spite of this drastic move to price match a competitor with significantly less overhead that can offer a wider selection for a lower price, Best Buy still tries to downplay the effect of showrooming, saying that only around 15% of the customers in the store are there to check something out with the intention of buying online later.
The chain also claims that the growing number of states in which Amazon collects sales tax is having a positive impact on its sales. According to Best Buy, sales went up in Texas after Amazon came to an agreement with the state to collect sales tax on purchases made by people in Texas.
Best Buy to Match Online Prices [WSJ.com]