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Are Online Product Prices Lower Than In-Store Prices?

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Most consumer products (69%) have the same price online and offline, according to a recent report from Anthem Marketing Solutions.

However, when there is a price difference between the two, 65% of the it's the time online channels that are cheaper than offline (in-store) channels, the study found.

The report was based on an analysis of the prices of commonly purchased consumer products across multiple categories, including personal care, books, electronics, entertainment, home improvement/household items, and office supplies.

Below, additional key findings from the report.

Average Savings

  • When there is a difference, online prices are usually lower than in-store prices. However, on the increasingly rare occasions when the price is less in-store, it is often substantially lower (32% average savings in-store vs. 26% average online).
  • For example, in the entertainment category, when a price difference was observed, there was just a 15% chance of finding the better deal in-store. But, in those situations, the average savings was 76%, suggesting it continues to pay to do price comparisons for certain categories.

Savings by Price Tier

The trend of general price parity, and an online advantage when there is a difference, was observed at all price levels:

Same-Store Comparisons

  • 8 of the 12 retailers examined in the study offered more favorable pricing online than in-store. 
  • Prices for Walgreens, Best Buy, Target, Kmart, and CVS were lower online than in-store more than 70% of the time.
  • Wal-Mart offered a nearly even split, with 47% of prices favoring offline and 53% favoring online.

About the research: The report was the seventh installment of a semi-annual study comparing online and in-store pricing of consumer goods across a range of commonly purchased categories (including personal care, books, electronics, entertainment, home improvement/household items, and office supplies).

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Josep Thu Oct 8, 2015 via web

    Hello, I really liked this article, but i have a question which i keep asking myselve and i don't know how to answer it.
    Right now I work in a company which is very strong in a retail level but every time more the online market is growing. Should we go online and ofline? should we do it with the same or different prices? should we create another brand to be able to be competitive with other online brands and not disturb our retail price?


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