The holiday season might be over, but retailers everywhere are still going the extra mile to ensure that their customers are given the best deals possible. Companies that institute quality online customer services will greatly benefit, especially as more stores are using internet-based price matching policies.
According to the Associated Press, Target Corp. is one of several businesses to start matching prices of online rivals year-round. The practice is currently rare, but the Minneapolis-based retail giant said it will match prices that customers find on identical products at top online retailers, all the time. The list that Target will match prices to includes the websites of Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Toys R Us and Babies R Us.
Mark Schindele, Target senior vice president of merchandising operations, told the AP that its discounter monitors prices of 30,000 items, and thousands more online, to make sure it’s competitive. However, he added that the store wants to give shoppers more confidence.
"We believe that our prices are competitive year-round," Schindele said. "We also know that our guests shop in many ways."
Best Buy is also matching online prices with 20 online retailers through the end of January. Spokeswoman Amy von Walter did not say whether or not that policy would become permanent.
Analysts believe that the trend will continue as more consumers are shifting toward making online purchases – about 10 percent of holiday sales happened online, according to the AP. Stores could eventually face difficulties, though, as prices on retailer websites tend to fluctuate and are often vastly lower than brick-and-mortar numbers.
Even if a business is not retail-oriented, having a strong online answering service is a wise investment. With more customers searching for internet shopping options, they are likely to want the same availability when it comes to speaking to a representative.