Best Buy Plans to Put an End to Showrooming with Its Low-Price Guarantee

Feb 21, 2013 8:08 AM  By

Best Buy said it plans to put an end to showrooming in its stores with its low-price guarantee beginning March 3. The company said in a press release it will price match all local retail competitors and 19 major online competitors in all of its product categories and on nearly all in-stock products when asked by a customer.

Best Buy had used a similar strategy during the holiday shopping season. This was during a time when Best Buy’s U.S. same-store sales had stopped falling and remained flat, according to an article on Forbes.com.

The price-match is aimed at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com among others. Best Buy’s decision, according to Forbes.com, seems like an intelligent move, but one that should’ve been done before now.

According to the Best Buy press release, if customers find a lower price on a qualifying product at a local retailer’s store or a designated major online retailer, they will match the price. The company will match the current pre-tax price for new identical immediately available products from a local retail competitor’s store and several major online retailers. They will also match products post purchase if they lower their prices within 15 days of the customer’s purchase.

Craig Johnson, president of independent consulting firm Customer Growth Partners, told CNN.com, Best Buy’s former management used showrooming as an excuse for bad sales.

In December, The Harris Poll reported over 43% of U.S. adults have showroomed. When customers were asked which brick-and-mortar store they most frequently visited to examine a product before making a purchase online, they said Best Buy at 24% and Walmart at 22% are the top victims of the trend.

The online retailer most frequented was Amazon at 57% after visiting a brick and mortar store. Eight percent of Best Buy showroomers go on to purchase from Best Buy online, 71% from Amazon, according to The Harris Poll.