One retailer has the lowest online prices in all categories except pet items, but another wins.
Amazon is the cheapest online retailer in the United States for the fifth year in a row, according to Profitero’s fifth annual “US Price Wars” study. The report analyzed the prices of 15,530 products in 15 categories from 12 major online retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, The Home Depot and Walmart.
Amazon had prices on average 14% cheaper than its competitors. The e-commerce giant beat 11 out of 12 retailers reviewed in each category, with online pet retailer Chewy being the only company to match its low prices across all categories (pet items).
Strengths of Amazon’s price competitiveness include the fact that it is, on average, 13% cheaper than Best Buy, Target, and Walmart for electronics; 15% cheaper than Target and Walmart for video games; and 11% cheaper than Home Depot, Macy’s, Target, and Walmart for toys and games.
However, Walmart’s prices are now, on average, less than 4% of Amazon across all categories, down one percentage point from the 2020 Price Wars study. Prices at Walmart were within 5% or less of Amazon in 13 of the 15 categories.
The discount retailer was the most competitive for beauty items, food and drink, and home furnishings, all of which were below 1% of Amazon prices. Walmart has the hardest time matching Amazon’s prices for electronics and video games, which were 9% and 13% more expensive, respectively.
As Amazon and Walmart continue to fight for the lowest prices, the study found that Target is falling even further behind. The discount was 15% more expensive than Amazon, an increase of two percentage points from 2020. Target’s online prices for cosmetics, home furnishings, vitamins and supplements, health and personal care, and food and drink were, on average, 22% higher. than those from Amazon. Target’s most competitive category was baby products, although prices were still 6% higher than Amazon.
For the third year in a row, Chewy has tied Amazon’s prices on pet food and supplies. Meanwhile, Home Depot is not far behind Walmart to keep pace with Amazon, with prices that were only 6% more expensive. The home improvement retailer was also within 4% of Amazon for home improvement tools and supplies, a drop of four percentage points from 2020, and less than 5% or less for appliances. appliances, home furniture, and sports and outdoor supplies.
“Supply issues and rising manufacturing costs will make the 2021 holiday season the most expensive ever,” said Sarah Hofstetter, President of Profitero. “We have found that online prices have increased by almost 6% since last October and for certain categories, like fashion and home furnishings, they have increased by almost 9% and 11%, respectively. The good news is, you may be able to find the right price if you shop around and know where to look. The battle between Amazon and Walmart is closer than ever, and it may depend on whether you are an Amazon Prime or Walmart + member.
Profitero monitors prices and other data on over 70 million product pages across hundreds of unique retail and mobile app sites. For this study, Profitero analyzed the online prices of 15,530 identical products across 15 categories over a 12-week period starting July 12 and ending October 3, 2021. Retailers examined include Amazon, Best Buy, Chewy, CVS, The Home Depot, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Staples, Target, Walgreens, Walmart and Wayfair, which were chosen based on online traffic, product assortment, and high level of consumer interest.
See Profitero’s full 2021 price war report here.