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Four Years Later, Price is Still a Point of Differentiation for Shoppers

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Although the recession hit hard four years ago, the effects are still with us. Habits that shoppers developed in 2008 including extreme couponing and buying private label not only still exist today but also are considered to be permanent changes for many shoppers. Retailers see this and acknowledge that even though the worst is over, there is still a price battle to be fought in order to attract and retain shoppers.

Recently, Walmart launched their “Low Price Guarantee” campaign, which pins their prices directly against competitors’ to (re)prove their “Everyday Low Prices.” In addition to shopper testimonial TV commercials, Walmart is leveraging their website and social media to invite more shoppers to participate and spread the word. Their online “Walmart Receipt Comparison Tool” invites shoppers to… take a photo of a recent receipt from another retailer, upload it to the receipt comparison tool, and wait 2-4 days for the results to be sent to their email address. Shoppers are then encouraged to share the results via social media and email. Walgreens is also highlighting savings with their new rewards card, Balance Rewards. The program offers cardholders special savings when shopping at Walgreens as well as the ability to earn and redeem points on items purchased at Walgreens. And while rewards programs are nothing new to retail, they offer shoppers on-going savings and value that often enhance shopper loyalty.

Both Walmart and Walgreens are enhancing and upgrading their value proposition, with a strong focus on price. This will likely make price more top of mind for shoppers and lead them to weigh their options when it comes down to where they shop. Much like credit card rewards programs—shoppers begin to seek out and be loyal to those that give them the best value and perks. How do you think other retailers will react to these new programs and shoppers’ more permanent focus on price and savings?

Photo Source: Walmart.com

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