Posted by: Genny Colby | August 20, 2013

Online vs In-Store

Welcome to today’s Pet Peeve of the Day…Online vs In-Store pricing.

One would think that for a store that has an online shopping presence, as well as physical brick and mortar stores, that the goal would be to have their prices match.  Appealing to both the online shopper and those that prefer to browse, wander, and take home their products that day.  But I am finding more and more stores have different prices online than they do in the stores.

Now I get that when you shop online the stores overhead is greatly diminished.  No sales staff salaries, no building fees, no overhead other than the warehouse and warehouse staff.  And since a warehouse can service a large area, you need fewer, staff can be less as they are only pulling orders, not stocking shelves, answering calls, cleaning bathrooms, etc.  But as a consumer it is frustrating to have to do so much leg work (check online prices, go to the store and compare prices, then figure out, with any shipping costs, what is the best deal).  Really…too much work.  Why can’t they use some of those cost savings/increased profits from online sales to help keep in stores prices the same?  Maybe even meet in the middle of the prices.  Now, some stores, like Best Buy will generally match online prices, if they are not the same as the in store price and that’s great.  But not all will, or not easily at least.

Barnes and Noble is the absolute biggest offender on this one though.  We can talk about the price of picture books another day…but in store, even with your B&N card a new hardcover picture book is around $15.   With your B&N card online you can pretty guarantee to get that same book for around $12, and no shipping costs.    So..unless you need it TODAY, why even bother going to the store?  Yes, I do miss going and wandering around, looking for books, but with two kids, I don’t get much of that anyway.  And now I like to go home and check out Goodreads before I decide to buy or utilize our library.  But generally, even if I find a book in the store, I will then go home and buy it online.  Kind of sucks, I know, but when you buy as many books as I do…saving $3-$5 per book really adds up!

But if stores want to maintain a brick and mortar presence (I think they SHOULD!) it is getting harder and harder to compete with online retailers…especially your own company!     I don’t know, just seems to me that is not really doing the customer a service…

That is my pet peeve of the day.

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