The combination of recession-reduced budgets, intense competition in the retail space, and tried-and-true consumer price sensitivity has fostered an environment in which price-match guarantees are something of a staple. Most of the largest brick-and-mortar retailers – think Walmart, Best Buy and Toys”R”Us – use price matching to avoid serving as showrooms for Internet giants like Amazon. This is also a direct reflection of consumer preferences, as 21% of shopper request a price match when they encounter prices in a store that they feel are too high, while 19% leave and look for a lower price online, according to Cognizant’s Shopper Experience Study. Furthermore, 29% of people said that price matching by store associates is their top priority for store improvement.
As much as people love price matching at the point of sale, being able to buy with the confidence that you’re guaranteed of getting the best price that comes available in the next 60-90 days after you make your purchase would be pretty mind-blowing. That power may already lie in our wallets, believe it or not. Much like they provide rental car insurance, extended product warranties and return extension, many credit cards also provide price matching programs. While these programs vary by card, they generally enable consumers to receive a refund when they purchase an item and soon after submit proof of a lower price available elsewhere. Such an option is extremely important in the contemporary retail environment, considering how frequently merchants seem to hold sales.