Price Match Guarantee

It’s common to match any competitor’s advertised price as long as it’s the same item and within the same market. It gives customers peace of mind. It may keep some customers loyal. The policy alone succeeds with customers too busy to research other prices.

If your assortment has such unique items that there are no other “like items” in the market, it may be a very smart move. But of course, there is the danger that customers will find lower prices. Actually, it encourages them to look for better prices, which is super easy with smartphones.

Reducing the price or giving a refund at the register takes time for you and your customer. These can be touchy negotiations, especially if an employee isn’t gracious or the customer misinterprets the offer or the competition’s price. Customers regularly bring in a “similar” item — but not the same item — then demand that you reduce your price to match it. So in view of the reality of daily operations, it can be a costly policy to uphold.

110% Price Match Guarantee

A variation is beating your competition by 10% should your customer find a lower price. The same benefits and dangers apply. But customers will be rewarded to shop solely on price even more. This is not a particularly loyal group!

Giving an extra 10% on an item is no more work on your behalf (changing the sales price) and probably goes much further to tell your customers that you will take care of them no matter what the competition does. So, in many ways, if you plan to meet competitive prices, adding 10% more probably doesn’t really change the outcome. You will still have customers who take advantage of this policy but your low-price positioning cannot be questioned.

Accepting Competitor’s Coupons

If you have a competitor who gives direct mail, email, mobile or other non-public offers to its best customers, this is a way to entice those customers to try your store. It’s especially effective if you have a more convenient location or store environment than the competitor.

Some competitors stay in business for years without advertising. What you may not see are the postal or email campaigns that keep their best customers returning with limited offers. Advertise that you will accept competitive coupons to lure your competition’s best customers to try your store.

Warning: you are opening yourself up to an unknown level of activity. You can limit this policy by excluding e-commerce retailers or “Limit one competitive coupon per customer.”

Read the entire article about how to price against big-box stores in the March/April 2020 issue.