Current conventional wisdom holds that prices charged by online merchants are lower than brick & mortar stores due to the disparity in operating costs. While there is truth in overhead comparisons, a new study by Market Track reveals that the best places for consumers to find low prices during the holiday season are in print circulars promoting in-store deals.
The study, which compared prices from the top 50 retailers and e-tailer sites, found that the lowest price was found online only 21 percent of the time while circular prices were lowest 55 percent of the time.
"For all of the attention that showrooming receives, it is interesting that, at least during the holiday shopping season, the most competitive pricing is often found in traditional retailers' print circulars," said Todd Birchenough, chief research officer at Market Track, in a statement.
Paul Salay, president of Market Track, added, "We have seen contradictory information in other research and recent news articles but it should be noted that these studies did not appear to have access to the traditional retailers circular promoted pricing — which is always where these merchants feature their best values."
How effective a tool are store circulars in getting consumers to purchase from brick and mortar retailers instead of online merchants?