Study: Amazon low-price leader in several categories

Ottawa, Canada - Amazon.com was the predominant low-price leader in several product categories from January through early April 2014. 360pi compared the pricing strategies of the industry’s top retailers, such as Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco and others, all based off of Amazon’s own product assortment relative to other retailers in power drills, televisions and outdoor gear.

360pi analysis shows that Amazon lowered prices on power drills by 14% from Jan. 19 to April 9. Except for Jan. 16-23, when Home Depot claimed the lowest prices for power drills, Amazon maintained its lead in price competitiveness throughout January and April. In fact, Home Depot priced up to 5% below Amazon for nearly seven days, from Jan. 16-23, before Amazon reclaimed the lowest prices on power drills by performing its steepest short-term price drop of the season in the days following Jan. 23. On average, Wal-Mart followed Amazon’s lead closely, never pricing more than 5% higher than Amazon, and actually matching Amazon prices consistently throughout March.

Amazon also dropped prices on televisions by nearly 10% just before the Super Bowl, and then steadily increased prices by 15.5% from January 29 to April 9, jumping up right after the Super Bowl heading into the March Madness playoff season. Amazon was the most price-aggressive retailer in the category, causing retailers to appear as much as 22% higher priced than Amazon during January and February. From Jan. 2 to April 8, Costco maintained lower prices than Amazon 75.3% of the time, and at its best, Costco’s prices were up to 4% lower than Amazon.

“Weather isn’t the only thing that heats up in the spring and summer months — March Madness is the spring’s most popular sport, and baseball ramps up as we head into the summer,” said Jenn Markey, VP marketing at 360pi. “The fact that television prices appear to have increased just after the Super Bowl heading into March Madness may point to the theory that retailers believe they don’t have to create a need for people to buy televisions during popular televised sport months.”

According to the pricing data, Amazon appears to have set its sights on gaining market share in outdoor gear. In the outdoor SKUs that Amazon, Sears, Dicks Sporting Goods and Newegg have in common, Amazon has prices that were 23 to 40% lower than its competition. Walmart was also aggressive with its outdoor gear prices, as it was never more than 5% higher than Amazon in Amazon’s own assortment.

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