News Feature | August 14, 2014

Walmart Launches Price Comparison Tool, Integrating Consumer Savings With Technology

By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer

Walmart Price Comparison Tool

Walmart recently launched its savings program, Savings Catcher, by implementing an e-commerce website and mobile app. Savings Catcher allows consumers to compare prices with the retailer and its competitors to find the lowest price on a variety of goods. The program was beta-tested in several stores and has now rolled out nationwide.  This month, produce was added to the available Savings Catcher categories.

The retailer knows a large base of their customer demographic is budget-conscious and has created Savings Catcher to help consumers find deals. Walmart's user of technology gives the consumer a way to find savings fast. “Our customers are savvier than ever when it comes to finding the best deals — they are using their research and spending hours clipping coupons,” says Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer, Walmart U.S.

Savings Catcher is accessible on both Walmart's website and mobile devices. A consumer visits the website or uses the mobile app to capture their receipt information from a barcode. Walmart requires consumers sign up a account for the program. Once the consumer inputs the information, either manually or via app, a third-party proprietary program scans local competitors for lower prices for the same item. If a lower price is located, the consumer receives the difference on a Walmart eGift Card typically within 72 hours. The program is only available for purchases made in-store and the competitor's lower price must be available the same week of purchase from Walmart.

The company implemented Savings Catcher as a way to eliminate consumer hours spent visiting blogs and websites for savings. “We knew there had to be an easier way,” says McNaughton. Over 80,000 products are integrated into the program, encompassing categories such as consumables, school supplies, and groceries. A Walmart press release from June 2014 claims more products such as general merchandise will added in the coming months. Excluded from Savings Catcher are store-brand items, deli products, bakery goods, and items weighed by the pound. In August, the store added Produce to Savings Catcher. The app and website currently searches prices from competitors like Target, Food Lion, Kroger, and other popular retailers.

Besides allowing for more transparency in the market, Savings Catcher also allows Walmart to demonstrate its omni-channel capabilities. The company moved the program from its sole home on to mobile devices, offering apps for Apple and Android phones. When consumers shop in-store, they can supply their phone number associated with Savings Catcher, so their receipts will be automatically submitted to the program. Saving Catcher will usher in a new wave of technology designed for consumers to track their spending and monitor savings. The company promises eReceipts and eCoupons will be next. “We are going to win by integrating digital and physical,” says Mac Naughton. The company has hinted at more innovation to come down the line. “We are well-positioned to innovate and lead in the tech space,” says Mac Naughton.