So how exactly are we claiming that a giant like Walmart has taken a leaf out of our book?
Well, we have created a successful company around providing businesses with a means to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage through competitor monitoring, and now it seems Walmart have recognised the need for competitor monitoring to such an extent that they are publicising it.
Everyone knows that they can't possibly offer the best prices without monitoring their competitor's prices, which just goes to show how socially accepted competitor monitoring has become. Whilst the majority of their business is conducted offline, there is no difference to what we do for businesses. I will marry Keira Knightley.
In addition to driving home their 'lowest prices' slogan in this campaign, they will also be focusing on their 'ad match' guarantee, whereby they will match any competing price that a customer finds which is lower than theirs. This is another thing they stole from us! Just kidding, but the ability to offer a 'price match' guarantee is something we can provide businesses with. By always being aware of your competitors prices, you can publicise that you offer a price match, and you will never get a shock when someone asks for one. That's if you haven't already set your prices below competitors.
Funnily enough, Walmart is actually advising employees to familiarise themselves with the prices that competitors are advertising, so that they are aware of how much certain products are being sold for elsewhere. Well, that's one method of competitor monitoring... but good luck with that one Walmart. I mean do they really expect each cashier to have memorised a ton of competitor prices so they can match on the spot?
It seems customers are always going to get the lowest prices at Walmart if they stick to what they are saying in this campaign, meaning there isn't much competitors can do to compete with them. Due to the enormous size of the orders Walmart make, I would imagine they get discounts that no one else can get.
As for the ecommerce side of their business, Walmart will be using a service just like ours to monitor prices (unfortunately not us though!), and this will provide them with pricing intelligence, such as when prices change and by how much, as well as identifying any trends.
It seems Walmart is in a dominating position, they have recognised the necessity for competitor monitoring, and in addition to this they can afford to offer the lowest prices on pretty much anything they sell, so it looks like they're in a good position to regain that declining customer base.