November 17, 2011

Price Optimization Testing at Wal-Mart

On a trip to Wal-Mart this week, I found the same item featured in three different places in the store.

This item is not available at

Wal-Mart clearly states that pricing will vary between the website and stores, and will vary between stores.  The website does not say that prices will vary on common items within the same store.

Ok, you are the marketing expert, so it is time for your thoughts.

  1. What do you think of a brand executing price optimization testing with a store?  Do you execute price optimization tests?
  2. What do you think of a brand not offering a comparable item online?  Does this diminish the fabled "multi-channel customer experience"?
  3. We can see how this type of testing benefits a business ... what do you think of this strategy, from a customer standpoint?
  4. How would you handle the pricing changes at checkout ... do you charge the customer $6.00, $5.97, or $5.24 per the signage, or do you charge each customer $5.24, regardless where the customer purchased the item within the store.
  5. Does a company have any responsibility to communicate that it executes multivariate price testing?
  6. In a mobile/social era, how would you balance testing strategies with the fact that customers can easily identify and share your testing strategies with their "social graph"?

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