Reporting John Shumway
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With more people turning to online shopping, stores are trying to stay competitive.
Best Buy may not be known for matching competitors’ prices, but with the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, that’s changing.
For some, going shopping still means going; but for others, online is all about convenience. And then there are those who do both.
By smartphone, in the store, or on the computer at home, it’s called “showrooming,” according to Dr. Jeffery Inman of the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. And it’s costing brick-and-mortar stores business.
A research firm says about a third of all buyers have done it at least once, and 43 percent of electronic buyers have showroomed a purchase.
“I find that going online is a little bit less expensive,” said one consumer.
To combat that and win back the buyers, stores are offering to match online prices.
Each retailer is different, Best Buy’s new policy applies only to electronics, appliances and hardware like cameras, and will not be in effect in the week surrounding Black Friday.
“Because those are the really deep discount days where a lot of products are priced at a lost,” Dr. Inman says.
And Best Buy is only going to price match with 20 specific online retailers.
“If somebody is that close to buying a product and it’s just a matter of price, then Best Buy is willing to take a few dollars less in order to get that sale,” Dr. Katz added.
This change of policy is so new that when KDKA’s John Shumway contacted Best Buy headquarters in Minnesota on Monday they were still working on the language.
They declined any on-camera interviews, but said the details should be available on their website soon.