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The Death of Brick & Mortar Retail Stores?

Updated on June 22, 2012

Why Amazon's Price Check App has brick and mortar stores running scared.

Imagine this; You're in Best-Buy shopping for a new 47 inch flat screen TV. After spending an hour looking at the various models and comparing features you finally decide on the model you like. What next? Well, in the past (as in really recent past) you would have asked the sales associate for help getting the item out of stock and then gone to the front of the store and paid for it. Done. On your way you go with your new TV.

Not anymore.

Today, armed with any of the dozens of smart-phones on the market (iPhone, Android, etc.) and a good Price Check App,, you would;

1- Scan the bar-code into your smart phone.

2- Boot up your price check App.

3- See exactly what other retailers are charging, that same day in real time, for the exact same TV.

If Best Buy (or Wal-Mart, Sears, Target, whatev) had the best price you would then buy it. IF NOT, you would know who DID have the best price and could GO THERE to buy your new TV instead. Beauty. Best Buy did the work, you get the TV at the best price.

And THAT, dear readers, is what may very well mark the death of brick and mortar stores.

The Office
The Office

This is REALLY BIG !

Amazon's Price Check App is so good it should be illegal.

Before you start to think that I'm getting some sort of kick-back from Amazon let me first state that I am not. I wish. The fact is that their new Price Check App is an amazing tool that will save you money. In the past if you had to make a large (or small) purchase it meant getting in ths car and driving to any number of brick and mortar stores to check prices and availability. Sometimes the exact model you wanted wasn't at all stores, sometimes it was out of stock, sometimes you just didn't feel like driving anymore and just took the price as it is.

Amazon's App has revolutionized the purchasing experience, plain and simple.

No more driving from store to store. Now you can simply scan the bar-code of whatever product you are interested in buying and the App will give you back all the data you could possibly need, including who has the best price.

Once you know you can purchase wherever you want. Amazon hope it will be with them, natch.

Did I mention how BIG this was?

Do you use your smart phone to shop? To locate deals? To get coupons?

Smart phones
Smart phones

What is the best thing about using a smart phone to shop?

See results

Goodbye to Brick and Mortar?

Not really, but....

Let's face it, Best Buy has been called 'Amazon's Show-Room' for a while now but still, there's nothing like buying something and walking out of the store with it right then and there. Sure Amazon wants to sell you stuff and sure there will be times when they have a much better price but, unless the price is staggeringly lower than the store you are actually standing in there's a good chance you will still be leaving with that new computer or camera.

Best Buy and their ilk are just going to have to start providing better customer service and, honestly, I think they already have. The last time I was in a Best Buy the service was actually pretty darned good. I bought a new camera and the guy that helped us knew a lot about cameras and gave me some great advice. If Amazon's price would have been $50.00 bucks less I might have gotten it from them but it wasn't and so I left the store with an new camera.

That said I think brick and mortar will benefit in the long run. This will force them to improve their customer service and that can never be a bad thing. After all, the best price isn't always the most important aspect of a purchase.

Tell me what you think of my lens. Thanks.

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