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Building the Mattress Omni-channel: Pricing Model

Carmax disrupted an established market for the resale of used cars in 1993 when they rolled out their "No Haggle Pricing" model. The feeling then was that the entire buying process was both opaque and stressful for the buyer, so they removed that issue and touted transparency and the omni-channel experience. You could buy a vehicle online or at location for the same price (WYSIWYG).


Nearly 20 years later, they still sit atop the used car market at #1 and tout many reasons for that which you can read on their web page here. But chief among them is that they made the buying process simple, transparent and stress free.

Isn't that the goal for retailers today? It's the elephant in the room, but it's established in the ethos of the retail mattress industry that negotiating is not only allowed, but trained for!

If a company were truly focused on leaning heavily into omni-channel, there must be a reconciliation of the experiences in-store and online, and this includes the "No haggle pricing".

There are a few things a company could theoretically do to embrace this:

• Offer "Fair, but FIRM" pricing in their marketing and in-store POP

• Offer price guarantees (60 days e.g.) if the price drops the customer gets an auto "credit"

• Reduce pricing to an acceptable level, accounting for no more in-store price adjustments

• Activate this in sales training, to move products not price, build value, create trust, etc.

We always say, Omni-channel is not a destination, it's a journey that constantly changes with inherent challenges, however if we are going to keep getting closer, maybe starting here is a good option. What are your thoughts?

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