With the Amazon Price Check app, which lets you scan in bar codes of items and get an instant price comparison, the analyst visited Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Staples, and Toys R Us.
As you probably guessed, most of the products scanned came up with lower prices on Amazon, with 100% of electronics and toys costing less online than at any of the retailers.
But that didn’t phase the employees at Target and Walmart, who told the analyst they don’t consider Amazon a material threat. It’s a different story for the crew in blue at Best Buy, who “were less enthused about the ability of their firm to survive the impact from Amazon,” and who told him that “everyone is using their smart-phone and the Price Check app to comparison shop.”
He found that Best Buy would actually match Amazon prices, but only if asked to do so. As we’ve mentioned before, the retailer will be doing more online price-matching this holiday season though we don’t yet know if that will part of the chain’s marketing push.
And though Target employees might not feel threatened by Amazon, the people in Target HQ must be a bit worried, as they announced yesterday that the store will price-match Amazon and other websites starting Nov. 1.
Meanwhile, Walmart is testing same-day delivery in an attempt to retain customers who would otherwise be flocking to online stores. However, as the analyst points out “history has proven that to be difficult to implement successfully.”
The analyst gets Darwinian in this passage:
We are reminded of this Charles Darwin quote when thinking about the effect on traditional retailers: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Traditional retailers are responding to Amazon’s threat on their businesses, but we wonder if it is too late.