Profitero Study Finds Amazon, Chewy to be the Cheapest Online Retailers Ahead of the Holidays

November 11, 2021
Dan Graziano
Written By
Dan Graziano

The 2021 holiday shopping season is shaping up to be the most expensive in history due to global inflation and ongoing supply chain problems, but you can still find a great deal if you know where to look.

BOSTON - November 11, 2021 — Global eCommerce analytics company Profitero today announced the results of its fifth annual U.S. Price Wars study. The study analyzed prices for 15,530 products across 15 categories from 12 leading online retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, The Home Depot, and Walmart.

For the fifth consecutive year, Amazon took the crown as the cheapest online retailer in the U.S., with prices that were 14% cheaper on average than competitors. Amazon beat 11 of the 12 retailers examined in every category, with online pet retailer Chewy being the only company to match Amazon’s low prices in any category, however Walmart and The Home Depot are not far behind.

“Supply issues and rising manufacturing costs will make the 2021 holiday season the most expensive of all time,” said Sarah Hofstetter, President of Profitero. “We have found that online prices are up nearly 6% since last October and for some categories, like fashion and home furniture, they are up by almost 9% and 11%, respectively. The good news is that you may be able to find the right price if you shop around and know where to look.”

Other key findings of the report:

  • Walmart is closing the price gap: Walmart’s prices are now, on average, within 4% of Amazon across all categories, a decrease of 1 percentage point from the 2020 Price Wars study. Prices at Walmart were found to be within 5% or less of Amazon in 13 of 15 categories. The retailer was most competitive for beauty items, food and beverages, and home furniture, all of which were within 1% of Amazon prices. Walmart struggles most to match Amazon’s prices for electronics and video games, which were 9%, and 13% more expensive, respectively.
  • Target’s price gap widens: While Amazon and Walmart continue to fight for the lowest prices, Target is slipping further behind. The retailer was 15% more expensive than Amazon, an increase of 2 percentage points from last year. Prices for beauty products, home furniture, vitamins and supplements, health and personal care, and food and beverage were, on average, 22% higher than Amazon. Target’s most competitive category was baby products, although prices were still 6% higher than Amazon.
  • Specialty retailers keeping things close: For the third consecutive year, Chewy has matched Amazon’s prices on pet food and supplies. Meanwhile, The Home Depot is not far behind Walmart in keeping pace with Amazon, with prices that were only 6% more expensive. The retailer was also within 4% of Amazon for tools and home improvement supplies, a decrease of 4 percentage points from last year, and within 5% or less for appliances, home furniture, and sports and outdoor supplies.
  • Amazon is better for holiday gifts: Shoppers looking for the latest phone, laptop, video game, or toys can rest easy when making purchases at Amazon. The retailer was found to be, on average, 13% less expensive than Best Buy, Target, and Walmart for electronics, 15% cheaper than Target and Walmart for video games, and 11% cheaper than The Home Depot, Macy’s, Target, and Walmart for toys and games.

 

“The battle between Amazon and Walmart is closer than ever before and it may come down to whether you are an Amazon Prime or Walmart+ member,” added Hofstetter. 

You can view Profitero’s full 2021 Price Wars report here.

Methodology

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 15,530 identical products across 15 categories over a 12-week period beginning 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 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. Inflation data comes from Profitero’s eCommerce Price Index (eCPI), which tracks monthly online price changes of more than 20,000 top-selling products across 16 key consumer categories from 14 leading retailers.

About Profitero

Profitero is a leading global provider of eCommerce performance analytics. Google, L’Oreal, General Mills and more than 4,000 other brands use its platform to measure their eCommerce performance across more than 600 retailer sites and mobile apps in 49 countries. Profitero’s proprietary technology and algorithms estimate daily sales for products sold on Amazon and provide actionable insights to improve product content, search placement, ratings and reviews, availability, assortment, and pricing to help brands identify competitive advantages and accelerate their eCommerce sales. On average, brands that use Profitero are able to grow their Amazon sales 70 percent faster than category competitors. To learn more, visit www.profitero.com

 

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