Amazon undercuts rivals by on average 13% on major retail categories
UK - November 16, 2022 — Profitero, the global eCommerce analytics company, today published the results of its annual UK Price Wars study, revealing stark online price differences across 15 leading retailers, including Asda, Amazon, John Lewis and Ocado. The study analyzed online prices for over 11,000 exact-matched products, finding that Amazon’s prices were an average 13% lower than other retailers across everyday essential items, such as food & beverages, as well as typical Christmas gift categories like electronics, toys and video games.
Comparing prices across everyday essential items Profitero found the cost of food & beverages, a new category in its data analysis this year, was an average 7% lower on Amazon compared to other online retailers. However, Asda was not far behind with prices that were 5% more expensive than Amazon, followed by Ocado (7%). Tesco had the biggest price gap, where online prices for exact-matched products were found to be 15% more expensive, on average, than Amazon.
Amazon’s price lead in other essential categories such as baby products and household supplies was even wider; Amazon’s prices for baby products were 9% less expensive compared to competitors Argos, Asda, John Lewis, Ocado and Very and its prices for household supplies were 12% less expensive compared to other retailers.
Table: Retailers with the lowest online prices for everyday essential categories
“As the cost of living surges, consumers will reduce spending on luxuries and prioritise the most essential everyday items, like groceries, baby and household supplies,” said Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director of EMEA & APAC at Profitero. “Retailers need to offer shoppers more value in these categories to keep them loyal, not only by offering low prices on trusted brands but also by providing cheaper alternatives through strong own label and challenger brand offerings."
Cautious customers to compare prices over Christmas
Soaring inflation in the UK is widely expected to dampen consumer appetite in the run up to Christmas, typically one of the busiest trading periods of the year for retailers. According to Sitecore, 41% of U.K. consumers say they are unable to afford Christmas and 33% are planning to spend less this year than in past years.
Profitero’s price analysis for typical gift categories found Amazon to have the lowest online prices for beauty, electronics, toys & games and video games, with prices that were an average 14% lower than competitors such as Asos, Argos and Boots.
There was strong price competition in both the toys & games and video games categories, with only a 5% price difference between Amazon and the second lowest priced retailer (Smyths Toys). Online retailer Very was the least competitive with prices that were 15% more expensive than Amazon for toys & games, and 20% more expensive for video games.
Price differences in the beauty category were much wider with a 12% gap separating Amazon (the price leader) and ASOS (the second lowest priced); Tesco was 29% more expensive for exact-matched products.
“Cash-conscious consumers will cut back on discretionary spending, which means all retailers will keep dropping prices to prop up demand for non-essentials, off-setting some of the inflationary trends caused by supply chain issues. Consumers who do their research and shop around can make significant savings,” said Profitero’s Wilkinson.
Each day, Profitero monitors prices and other data on more than 70 million product pages across hundreds of unique retailer sites and mobile apps. For this study, Profitero analyzed online prices of 11, 218 identical products across 16 categories over a 12-week period beginning July 11, 2022 and ending Oct 22, 2022. Retailers examined include Amazon UK, Argos, Asos, Asda, Boots, Currys, John Lewis, Morrisons, Next, Ocado, Sainsburys, Smyths Toys, Tesco, Very, and Zalando, which were chosen based upon online traffic, assortment of products, and a high level of consumer interest. Profitero’s methodology includes comparing online prices between retailers only on items that are identical (same UPC, brand and pack configuration). The study only compares first-party prices collected on the same day, with both retailers in-stock. Where prices were unavailable for both retailers on the same day for matched items (as in the case of out-of-stocks at one retailer), items were excluded from Profitero’s comparison.
Profitero is a leading, global eCommerce intelligence platform that provides brands with digital shelf visibility and actionable insights to grow market share and profits. Profitero’s technology monitors 70 million products daily, across 4,000 brands, 900 retailers and 50 countries, helping brands optimize search placement, product content pricing, stock availability, reviews and more. Please visit www.profitero.com.