Woolworths has been making Aussie retail headlines lately, with subsequent announcements in the past month related to its online/offline sales.
On Feb. 24, Woolworths announced it was teaming up with eBay to make it easier for customers to collect online purchases.
Woolworths gets added foot traffic from eBay buyers; eBay gets more online sales from in-store Woolworths regulars.
"eBay customers will be able to pick up their online orders from parcel pick up points and lockers in more than 90 Woolworths supermarkets and BIG W stores," wrote Sue Mitchell of the Brisbane Times.
"Woolworths hopes the click and collect service will increase foot traffic and sales in its bricks and mortar stores, while eBay believes the deal will fuel online sales by giving shoppers more options for taking delivery of their orders."
Then, in early March, Woolworths quietly introduced a new pricing parity policy between its online and physical stores, changing thousands of website price tags to match in-store prices over the March 7-8 weekend.
"In news broken over the weekend by News Ltd., the new policy at Woolworths has come amid warnings from the ACCC that major supermarkets were charging internet shoppers a discriminatory premium on certain products," wrote Power Retail's Rory Betteridge (March 10).
Technically, online goods should be cheaper because they don't incur the as much overhead as in-store goods do.
It's an interesting development because, by nature, goods bought online should be cheaper because they do not incur the overhead costs to the retailer that in-store goods do. Mark Goldberg, owner of Supply Warehouse, told News Ltd those savings should be passed on to the customer.
"Bundling an additional premium into the delivery charge could prove problematic for Woolworths, however," Betteridge added. "Customers that opt for Woolies’ click-and-collect service would represent a net loss for the supermarket, through a service on which the supermarket chain has invested a lot of money with the rollout of beacon technology and the expansion of dark stores."