Over the holiday season, Best Buy began offering its customers price-matching on products that can be found for lower prices at online retailers. The move was meant to curb incidences of “showrooming” – the term that refers to customers who use physical retailers as a space to look at and research products before purchasing them online.
That holiday-time policy must have paid off for the big box retailer, because Best Buy today announced that it is making online price-matching an official policy.
The company announced this weekend that it will implement the policy at its physical stores and its online store starting March 3. Best Buy will match local retailer prices, as well as the prices of 19 “major online competitors,” including Amazon.com, Apple.com, Bhphotovideo.com, Buy.com, CircuitCity.com, CompUSA.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, hhgregg.com, HP.com, HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com, Newegg.com, OfficeDepot.com, OfficeMax.com, Sears.com, Staples.com, Target.com, TigerDirect.com, and Walmart.com.
The price-matching isn’t automatic, however. Customers will have to request the lower prices, and not every product in Best Buy stores is covered. Music, movies, phones, digital downloads, pre-orders, and refurbished products that can only be found in Best Buy’s online store will not be price-matched.
Best Buy is touting its customer service as an advantage over online retailers. Whether or not this is true, the retailer will have to continue implementing tough policies such as price-matching to prevent the company from going the way of the now-defunct Circuit City.