Amazon, Best Buy & Walmart Prices on Black Friday and Cyber Monday Don’t Match The Media Hype: Pricing Intelligence Company Takes A Closer Look

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Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart didn’t price the way media hype led us to believe they would on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to data charted by pioneer pricing intelligence company, Upstream Commerce (UpstreamCommerce.com). The data also indicate that each of the giants followed their own pricing strategy as opposed to following each other competitively.

Graph showing how Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy each changed their pricing during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Upstream Commerce Data

Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart didn’t price the way media hype led us to believe they would on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart didn’t price the way media hype led us to believe they would on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to data charted by pioneer competitive pricing intelligence company, Upstream Commerce (UpstreamCommerce.com). The data also indicate that each of the giants followed their own pricing strategy as opposed to following each other competitively.

“We examined data we were already collecting to see what the prices and general procedures appeared to be at Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon during this highly-hyped holiday sale time,” says Amos Peleg, CEO and co-founder of Upstream Commerce. “We tracked a sampling of 600 items in two main categories -- Televisions; and Toys and Games,” says Peleg. “We looked at prices on the selected items on Nov. 15, 2011, our baseline, and then we charted Black Friday and Cyber Monday prices.

“First, each of the three major retailers appeared to follow their own pricing strategy,” Peleg notes. “Second, we see that Amazon discounted the most on Black Friday for both Televisions and Toys and Games, then raised prices on Cyber Monday; Best Buy, in general, offered discounts in the Televisions category while actually raising prices on average for the Toys and Games Category; and, at Walmart, we found that the average price of these particular items was actually higher on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

“To be fair,” said Peleg, “our information indicates that Walmart ran out of some of the lower-priced items and didn’t restock, leading to higher average prices than usual, or leaving money on the table had the regular items been available.”

“Regardless, we found the strategies and pricing scenarios so fascinating vis-a-vis the media hype, we decided to sample and publicize this kind of data on a regular basis at Upstream Commerce,” Peleg said. “You can view the graphs for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday data at our online blog”: ‘Did Walmart, Best Buy & Amazon Cop Out on Special Pricing During Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotions?

Upstream Commerce bills itself as “a pioneer in pricing intelligence, providing online retailers with a next-generation pricing intelligence tool that enables them to price more competitively, boost sales, and increase profit margins.” For more information and to view or receive future columns and observations, go to http://www.UpstreamCommerce.com

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Naomi Shapiro
Upstream Commerce
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