Which online retailers had the best Black Friday prices?

December 7, 2018
Jorge Castrejon
Written By
Jorge Castrejon

By all accounts, the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend lived up to its hype, especially in terms of the online shopping boom. During the extended Black Friday weekend (which we defined as Nov 21 – 26, 2018), eCommerce sales topped the charts and online sales records were broken. According to data from Adobe Analytics:

  • U.S. online retail sales on Thanksgiving Day reached $3.7 billion, which represents +16.5% YoY growth
  • Black Friday sales came in at $6.2 billion, +23.6% YoY growth
  • Cyber Monday reached $7.9 billion — +19.7% YoY growth from 2017 — accounting for the biggest online sales day ever!

As anticipated, online deals and discounts were aplenty. But just how did retailers stack up in terms of pricing online?

Profitero analyzed thousands of prices collected on exactly matched products from Nov. 21 – 26, 2018 in five key categories — electronics, appliances, tools & home improvement, video games, and toys & games — at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Jet.com, Target.com and other select retailers. In the time period studied, any price collected at the item level was checked across all retailers within a 24-hour period.

Once again, we found Amazon with a tight rein on pricing during the six-day holiday shopping event, averaging 13.8% less expensive than retailers carrying the same items. The next closest priced retailer was Walmart with an overall 6.5% gap in pricing vs. Amazon on the like-for-like products analyzed. Jet and Target.com followed, recording a 15.9% and 16.0% pricing differential vs. Amazon, respectively.


Our results not only confirm Amazon as being the best-priced online retailer across the categories studied, but it was able to widen the price gap even further compared with the 10.3% pricing differential we saw in Profitero’s Q2 price analysis.

Amazon’s prices win in 5 key holiday categories

It’s little wonder that Amazon declared Cyber Monday the biggest shopping day in its history. The retailer leveraged the highly price-driven event to win on price in all five categories we studied.


In electronics, Amazon’s prices were, on average, 5.9% below those of Walmart.com on exact-match products during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend — widening the gap another 2.8 points compared with our Q2 2018 analysis.

Jet’s prices in electronics were just 1.4% higher than Amazon’s prices in Q2 2018, but a somewhat surprising 7.4% higher during the Black Friday weekend. This price gap could very well have contributed to what some analysts deemed a poor showing over the big shopping event.



In appliances, Amazon’s prices beat those of other online retailers studied.

Somewhat surprisingly, Best Buy’s prices stood out as being extraordinarily high — 16.5% more, on average — versus Amazon’s prices. This was 3.2 percentage points more than the price gap we saw between Amazon and Best Buy in Q2 2018.


Toys, Video games and Tools/DIY

Here’s a quick look at how some of the biggest online retailers stacked up against Amazon’s prices in the other categories analyzed during the six-day holiday shopping weekend from Nov. 21 – 26, 2018:




If our online pricing analysis over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping weekend is any indication, it looks like retailers and brands should brace themselves for another highly promotional and price-driven holiday season.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as Profitero takes a closer look at Amazon’s sales to determine what categories, brands and products outperformed during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping event.

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