Thursday 3 June 2010

Asda's step towards phone-in-aisle price comparison

pic: FT
According to the Financial Times, under Asda’s scheme, with their price guarantee service, the shopper pays for products in store and then enters receipt details at home into Asda’s website to compare if anything was cheaper elsewhere. If a customer could have saved more by shopping elsewhere, the Asda site, operated by, will print out a coupon against future purchases to cover the difference, plus a penny.

According to Asda, about 15,000 people a day are now checking prices on the site, which covers about 70 per cent of Asda’s comparable products, and demand had “surpassed expectations”.

The real issue here is that Asda are beginning to undermine one of the fundamentals in Multiple retailer price perception. Consumer-shoppers traditionally relied upon a handful of KVIs to make a broad price comparison between prices charged by the multiples.

Asda have just opened up this decision process to include fact-based comparison across every SKU in the store…next step has to be phone-in-aisle price comparison.

Now although unit pricing never really took off, and shoppers are unlikely to leave a store for one lower-priced SKU, we are nowadays dealing with the 'savvy consumer' who demands demonstrable value for money.

Asda have just taken a step towards handing them the tool….

Are we now heading for replacement of 'state-of-art' grocery retailing a new, digital version of the oldest markets – where rival retailers call out their prices, offer their customers cups of tea and are always prepared when necessary to haggle?

No comments: