On the invitation of the Marketing Ph.D. students, Professor Ting Zhu from the University of British Columbia gave a research seminar about “Can Price Matching Defeat Showrooming?” on Friday, April 17th. This research studies the impact of Best Buy’s recent price-matching policy on the price competition between Best Buy and Amazon. Specifically, she examines whether the policy can defeat consumers’ showrooming behavior. Data indicate that both Best Buy and Amazon adjusted prices in the same directions. However, the directions vary across product categories. Using an analytical model, Professor Zhu shows that the effect of the price-matching policy depends on the additional value that consumers could obtain from visiting a physical store. Both retailers would raise prices when this value is small but would compete more aggressively on prices when this value is large.
Ting Zhu is Associate Professor of Marketing at Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia. She received a Ph.D. in Marketing from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to moving to the University of British Columbia in 2012, she was a faculty member at Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. She has published in RAND Journal of Economics, Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing Research, Quantitative Marketing and Economics, and Marketing Letters.