Wal-Mart made headlines when it revealed it was extending its Ad Match Guarantee to include matching prices of online retailers, including Amazon.com – and extending it to include purchases on Walmart.com.
But when we asked Wal-Mart if it would honor Amazon third-party merchants, we were surprised when it said yes. Wal-Mart spokesperson John Forrest Ales said Wal-Mart was committed to being the “everyday low-price leader across every retail channel for the long term.”
The policy is permanent, not just for the holidays – however there’s lots of fine print involved. For example, “Walmart.com will not price match items purchased on Walmart.com between Thanksgiving and Cyber-Monday.”
Price matching is limited to a quantity of one per customer or household. And eBay is still excluded from Wal-Mart’s price-matching policy. The product the consumer is trying to match must be an in-stock, identical item to the item they wish to purchase through Walmart.
Keith Anderson of Profitero, a company that provides pricing intelligence solutions to merchants, was not surprised to hear the news. “As price transparency increases, price-competitive retailers like Walmart and Amazon are naturally focused on defending their strong market positions. Shoppers don’t think in terms of “channels,” so we aren’t surprised to see some retailers’ price-matching programs evolve to include online prices in addition to brick-and-mortar competitors’ prices.”
Wal-Mart published a list of online retailers its stores will match prices with on its Online Price Match policy:
Online retailers include, but are not limited to: Academy.com, Amazon.com, Autozone.com, Babiesrus.com, Basspro.com, Bedbathandbeyond.com, Bestbuy.com, Cabelas.com, Dickssportinggoods.com, Dollargeneral.com, Familydollar.com, Homedepot.com, Jcpenny.com, Kmart.com, Kohls.com, Lowes.com, Michaels.com, Newegg.com, Officedepot.com, Oreillyauto.com, Pepboys.com, Petco.com, Petsmart.com, Sears.com, SportsAuthority.com, Staples.com, Target.com, Tigerdirect.com, Toysrus.com, Walgreens.com, Walmart.com.
Interestingly Walmart.com will not price match on behalf of Walmart Marketplace Retailers to other online competitors.
What do you think the means for Amazon, Amazon merchants, and yourself?
Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.
Update 11/19/14: Have you tried Walmart’s new online price matching policy? Share your stories here.