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Amazon Showrooming Forces Stores To Go Digital on Price Displays | ESM Magazine

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.-backed Nebraska Furniture Mart used to dispatch an army of employees each morning to update printed price labels throughout its stores, a time-consuming effort to maintain its pledge to offer the lowest prices on televisions, dishwashers, sofas and flooring.

Following a big investment in digital displays, one person can now quickly update the chain’s prices on thousands of products in multiple locations to beat the latest offers from Home Depot, Sears and other competitors. Similar devices are in use at almost 1,200 Kohl’s stores nationwide, as well as U.S. Department of Defense commissaries.

The expanded use of electronic shelf labels, which gained popularity in Europe over the past decade, shows the latest way online shopping is changing the in-store experience. Retailers are adapting to smartphone-toting shoppers who “showroom,” or scan Amazon.com Inc. and other websites to compare prices.

“If we have a TV for $1,200 and Amazon has it for $900, customers are going to say, what the heck, your prices are not the lowest,” said David Bash, chief information officer at Nebraska Furniture Mart, which was founded in 1937 and now has four stores in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Texas. “These electronic shelf tags are not just here to look pretty. They’re here to make sure you get the best deal.”

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Amazon Showrooming Forces Stores To Go Digital on Price Displays | ESM Magazine.

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