Walmart Raising Web Prices to Drive In-Store Traffic

According to the Verge, Walmart recently began pricing some online merchandise higher to (hopefully) drive in-store sales this holiday season.

And this isn’t some secretive, devious ploy (well, maybe devious, but not secretive): they’re advertising the existing price discrepancies — up to 24 percent lower, in some cases — front and center.

“The aim is to also help reduce processing costs and increase online sales margins,” the story says, “since driving customers to stores means less shipping costs for the retailer,” noting that a single box of macaroni and cheese can cost $10 to ship from Chicago to Atlanta.

(Side note: we could legit bankrupt Walmart with macaroni and cheese. Think about that. If the entire country ordered one box of Kraft Spongebobs in the same week, then powdered cheese and noodles would be what finally did in the biggest company in the world.)

The economics are simple, if strange — competing against yourself seems like an only-child activity, not a World’s Largest Company activity. But, because there is a Walmart in nearly every city in the country, it just might work. Or, it might send their customers clicking over to Amazon…

You can read more about it at The Verge.

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  • S.O

    Haha, I’ve seen this tactic employed elswhere during the holiday season. The smart play would be to incentivize ship to store or store pickups. That way you get the purchase up-front & the waiting-in-line random purchase or an opportunity to sell them something else.