Consistency in your brand message across all channels is extremely important. This is especially true during the holiday season when there are an increased number of eyes scrutinizing retailers’ every move, looking for the best deals.
For the most part, I think retailers do a pretty good job with consistent messaging across channels. However, I do see them being less consistent on pricing strategy and product selection.
From the retail perspective—they are trying to optimize channels by offering different selections and prices online than they do in stores—sometimes they have to be more competitive online than in a retail location. I get it.
But when I go in a store and see a product for one price and then check the same company’s website and find it for another price, it is very confusing for me as a consumer. This happened to my son and me just recently. My son had gift cards to a particular big-box store and wanted to buy a new video game. So I told him to check the store’s website to make sure he had enough gift cards to make the purchase. He did. And he assured me he had enough. We went to the store. He picked out his game and we went to check out.
“Dad, I need five more dollars.”
“What do you mean? I thought you checked the price before we left.”
“I did. It was $40 on the web, and it’s $45 here.”
So, I pulled out my phone and looked it up. He was right. Thankfully, the store clerk matched the web price, but I was still pretty irritated and frustrated by the experience. And, because of that, the store may have lost a loyal customer who was just looking at a new $1,000-plus TV while his son was picking out a $45 game…
I guess my advice would be for retailers to do some digging and find out if this type of strategy is actually impacting customers or not, and I would expect different answers for different retailers and customer bases.
Now let’s hear your thoughts.