SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon may have been dethroned as king of the pricing jungle and Best Buy doesn’t always have the best buys, a new study shows.
According to the folks behind mobile shopping app ShopSavvy, Walmart reclaimed its lowest-price mantle in at least seven categories including CE, TV, computers and entertainment, when pitted against No. 3 CE retailer Amazon and No. 1 electronics merchant Best Buy.
Using a proprietary database of pricing information from half a million retailers, the San Francisco-based developer found that Walmart was the less expensive option for more than 50 percent of analyzed products during the period of Nov. 1 to Dec. 5, 2014.
In CE, where 436 items were assessed, 66 percent of Walmart’s products were cheaper than the same SKUs at Amazon by an average of 28. 3 percent, and were priced lower than 72 percent of the same products at Best Buy by an average of 16.2 percent.
The disparity was even greater in TV, where out of 13 SKUs, Walmart’s prices were lower on 11 of Amazon’s models by an average of 23.4 percent, and beat out 12 of Best Buy’s models by an average of 15 percent.
In computers, Walmart was cheaper than 68.3 percent of Amazon’s offerings by an average of 28.9 percent, and came in lower than Best Buy on 63.4 percent of PCs by an average of 17 percent.
The results stand in sharp contrast to a Nov. 28 Black Friday pricing study by Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell that showed Amazon to be 8.3 percent lower than Walmart on a basket of 65 identical items.
ShopSavvy said its findings reflect Amazon’s ability to “calculate when having the lowest price is the best strategy and when it is not,” and its apparent move toward higher profit margins this holiday season.
Walmart has recommitted to low-price leadership under recently named president/CEO Doug McMillon and has been investing heavily in its e- and mobile commerce operations. Among the fruits of those efforts is a recently released Savings Catcher app that compares customers’ purchases to competitors’ prices and pays its shoppers the difference in credit.
Walmart also extended its price-match policy to leading online competitors.