If you hear an analyst talk about the state of Best Buy these days, you'll no doubt hear stories about how consumers now walk into the store with the sole purpose of scanning items with their phone to see what the price is at places like Amazon or Walmart. A lot of people like to talk about the phenomenon of customers using Best Buy as nothing more than a "showroom." Some experts will tell you this phenomenon is blown way out of proportion, and Best Buy could have its own way of fixing that.
For Best Buy, the constant inundation of news stories about how customers in their stores behave is potentially more damaging to its reputation than the reality of how their customers behave. So to quash this perception of "showrooming," the retailer is apparently considering offering streaming prices on LCD screens to show customers that it has nothing to hide. So if you walk by the newest 3D TV, you might see a little monitor next to it that shows real-time prices from Walmart, Amazon, etc.
Obviously there would be a huge risk with this since Best Buy is usually not the cheapest place to buy something. But if you saw right there, at that moment of impulse, that if you were to go all the way home and wait for Amazon to ship it to you that you'd only save $10, you might still go ahead and just buy it. It's that nagging thought of "Hey, I bet Amazon has this for, like, $100 less" that is truly killing Best Buy. It's a neat idea. We'll see if it comes to pass.
[via Star Tribune]