Price-matching… a great strategy for retailers to prevent shoppers from “showrooming” products in-store and then turning around to buy them cheaper online or from competitors.
Walmart has been dabbling in the price-matching arena for a few years now, matching competitor pricing on everything from potato chips to Barbies. However, you may have heard that they have recently fallen victim to a rash of price-matching fraud, exposing a loophole in their policy.
Citing third-party Amazon seller listings, shoppers were able to convince Walmart cashiers to match Sony PlayStation 4 consoles (retailed at $400) with $90 Amazon prices. This dishonest strategy had the potential to spread like wildfire to other products creating a nightmare for Walmart.
They still honoring?”@Its_Seddyyy: THANK YOU WALMART AND AMAZON FOR MY 89.99 PLAYSTATION 4!!!”
— Nom Nom (@ad_woo10) November 18, 2014
So how does social analysis fit in?
All it takes is a picture and a clever hashtag to reach millions of people. This can be a scary concept for brands. Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight™ Platform helps brands make social media an asset rather than a liability.
Shoppers were very proud of their scheme and immediately took to social media to boast about it. The online conversation around Walmart was dominated by talk about the amazing PS4 pricing and the ongoing scam.
When looking at the emerging topics on an hourly basis, it is apparent that not long after price-matching announcements were made, the loophole was exposed. Waves of $90 PS4 discussion were taking place.
Fortunately for Walmart, the loophole was closed before things got ugly. If the scam were to leak into other products and shoppers continued to catch on, Walmart would have suffered substantial losses in revenue. Imagine hordes of Black Friday shoppers armed with their magic Amazon discounts! With Crimson Hexagon, threats can be identified before it is too late.
For more social insights into how retailers can strategize during the holiday season, download our ad campaign effectiveness case study: Assessing Black Friday Advertising Campaign Effectiveness.