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Study Finds Amazon is Winning the Online Price War With Pet Supplies


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A study from global e-commerce analytics firm Profitero confirms that Amazon may be the current online price leader, but that lead may be slipping as Walmart intensifies its efforts to be price competitive.

The report, Price Wars: A Study of Online Price Competitiveness, reveals that Amazon’s prices are typically 11 percent lower than Walmart, Target and Jet. However, Walmart is rapidly closing the gap, with the retailer’s prices found to be only 3 percent more expensive on average than Amazon across all categories studied. This compares to a 2014 Profitero study which found Walmart’s pricing to be 9 percent higher than Amazon on average. Target was found to be 17 percent higher than Amazon on average, and Jet 12 percent higher.

For the study, Profitero analyzed the prices of more than 52,000 exactly matched, in-stock products across 13 categories including beauty, toys and games, electronics and pet supplies, at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Jet.com and specialty retailers, with data collected daily and averaged between June and August 2017 for comparison.

When it comes to pet supplies, Walmart was 2 percent more expensive than Amazon on 1,452 pet products; Chewy was 7 percent more expensive on 602 products; Jet was 16 percent more expensive on 2,070 products; and Target was 19 percent more expensive on 379 products.

Chewy had 7 percent higher average prices on pet supplies than Amazon—the lowest among specialty retailers included in the study. Jet is 16 percent more expensive than Amazon, in contrast to a 2015 Profitero study which found the Jet to be 12 percent cheaper than Amazon. Walmart is the most competitively priced, with pet products only 2 percent more expensive than Amazon.

“This year there’s been a marked rise in discussion about an online price war,” said Keith Anderson, the report’s author and Profitero senior vice president of strategy and insights. “In our biggest ever study, we’ve set out to illuminate the pricing dynamic at play and to better understand the high-stakes race to the bottom we’re currently witnessing between Walmart.com and Amazon.com. While Amazon remains the online price leader, it’s clear that Walmart is on the offensive, with prices just 3 percent more expensive than Amazon—a significant change from our 2014 study when prices were shown to be 9 percent more expensive than Amazon. While lower prices are good news for shoppers, suppliers and retailers will inevitably feel the pressure as we head into peak holiday season, as this price war is only set to intensify.”

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