U.S. markets close in 14 minutes
  • S&P 500

    +22.92 (+0.58%)
  • Dow 30

    +105.44 (+0.31%)
  • Nasdaq

    +109.74 (+1.00%)
  • Russell 2000

    +10.23 (+0.57%)
  • Crude Oil

    -0.46 (-0.64%)
  • Gold

    +2.20 (+0.12%)
  • Silver

    +0.33 (+1.43%)

    +0.0047 (+0.44%)
  • 10-Yr Bond

    +0.0830 (+2.44%)

    +0.0033 (+0.27%)

    +0.1370 (+0.10%)

    +376.66 (+2.24%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    +10.88 (+2.76%)
  • FTSE 100

    -17.02 (-0.23%)
  • Nikkei 225

    -111.97 (-0.40%)

Heading Into the Holiday, Amazon Wins the Price War

In Profitero’s latest “U.S. Price Wars” study, Amazon came out on top with the lowest online price points across 15 categories and against 13 of the top retailers — which included Walmart, Target and Home Depot.

The e-commerce analytics firm said in a statement that the online giant’s prices “were an average 13 percent less expensive than competitors. This is a slight change from last year’s study when Amazon was priced 14 percent lower, on average.”

More from WWD

The company went on to note that the competition for holiday gift categories “remains close, with retailers such as Walmart, The Home Depot and Nordstrom’s within 2 to 5 percent of Amazon’s prices, and pet retailer Chewy matching Amazon’s prices exactly for pet supplies.”

Mike Black, chief marketing officer of Profitero, told WWD that “coming on the heels of Walmart and Target earnings releases last week, I think it’s interesting to look at how low prices are going to be more of a critical differentiator for retailers to have a strong [fourth quarter] than years past when consumers were flush with pandemic savings.”

Black said, right now, “Amazon seems best positioned to win in most of the holiday categories we studied.”

The price study was released as retailers gear up for the holiday shopping season, which officially kicks off on Black Friday. But recent consumer surveys have noted that due to inflation, shoppers are more frugal and on the hunt for discounts and deals.

“Consumers are starting to count every penny, and this puts Amazon in a very good position to capitalize as the low-price leader in the market,” Black said in a statement. “That said, we know retailers are feeling the pressure to have a strong [fourth quarter] and will continue to discount very aggressively to prevent losing shoppers to Amazon. The more intense the competition, the more the consumer wins.”

In its analysis, Profitero found that among the three largest merch ants — Amazon, Walmart and Target — Amazon’s prices were, on average, 6 percent less than Walmart’s. And its prices were 16 percent lower than Target.

“However, Target’s pricing did become more competitive with Amazon’s, compared to last year,” the company said in its report. “The retailer gained ground in eight out of 17 categories studied: beauty, fashion, food and beverages, health and personal care, pet supplies, tools and hardware, toys and games and vitamins and supplements. Toys and games were Target’s most competitive category, with only a 6 percent price difference compared to Amazon.”

Black said, traditionally, Target “has been able to command premium prices due to their incredible brand and exclusive assortment. They still can, for sure, but I think we’re seeing them give way a bit as consumer spending starts to cool.”

For the holiday shopping season, Target expects to deliver a low-single-digit decline in same-store sales. In the meantime, Target and others are cranking up the promotional cadence to grab the attention of shoppers with select deals; and then, hopefully, lure them into making other purchases.

On target.com, for example, the retailer is touting Black Friday deals on select products with markdowns from 40 to 60 percent. And on walmart.com, the retailer has been dropping Black Friday deals every Monday for the past few weeks. The mass retailer has been showing consumer electronics, home goods and some apparel.