Online vs. In-Store: Anthem Marketing Solutions Study Shows In-Store Pricing Becoming More Competitive

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Trends in relative prices suggest rapid and significant shifts in the competition between channels.

The third installment of a bi-annual study produced by Anthem Marketing Solutions reveals that the competition between physical stores and online retailers is rapidly shifting across a range of prices and item categories. While common wisdom dictates that better deals will be found more frequently online, the analysis concludes that shopping in stores can yield much higher savings when shoppers are looking for the lowest price.

In addition to offering the best average prices for items costing less than $7, stores have also become more competitive in the $100+ price range, where online vendors had a clear advantage in the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 studies. However, online vendors offer the best average prices for the range between $7 and $20, indicating that impact of competition with stores is not limited to a particular price range or category, but rather has the potential to affect a wide variety of retail items. Additionally, changes in policies regarding the collection of sales tax for online purchases may soon eliminate an important advantage for online retailers, who often do not collect sales tax.

Understanding the mentality and behaviors of today’s consumer is critical for determining retail best practices. Because many factors other than price will persuade a shopper’s decision, the idea of cost must be expanded to reflect this trend. For more information and to read the study, please visit us at


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Hallie Borden
Anthem Marketing Solutions
(312) 441-0382
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