I wrote a post about a year ago about the challenges of price matching, and I wanted to write a follow up to say that, perhaps websites should just simply stop price matching.
(I do want to clarify that this is different from allowing our retail stores to price match. Because if a customer is coming into your store, you should appreciate the fact that they’ve taken the time to come talk to you face to face. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the cost of shipping.)
The issues most websites face are this;
By the time a customer calls you up and asks for a price match, consider the circumstances. They are probably coming to you because no one else has it available. Think about that for a minute. Why would a customer be calling an online store, if they could buy it cheaper elsewhere and not have to talk to anyone?
So now, you have the “last” of something. Shouldn’t that price then go up? Not down?
I understand if it’s a mass produced item (lets say a LEGO toy set), and you just want to support a local business instead of buying from a Target or Walmart. If that is the case, again, I would go into a local store, and have a conversation face to face.
But the phone conversations with customers regarding price matching usually involve people who have never bought from us before, some who don’t even know what store they called (they just clicked a link on their phones), and others who want it shipped internationally or cross country but aren’t willing to pay for it.
Other factors include the cost of shipping and not knowing exactly what the customer’s expectations are (they might expect something in perfect condition, but chances are an item may have a damaged box, or it could be the display model off the showroom, especially when we’re down to the last couple items in stock).
I do think companies should not aggressively / blindly honor price match requests. Unless it’s for a repeat customer who is more likely to shop with you in the future.