Retailers varying prices for top Christmas toys by more than 70%, Profitero reveals

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In the run-up to Christmas, Amazon and Tesco are offering the UK’s best-selling toys online cheaper than rival e-commerce sites, according to independent research from global ecommerce analytics firm Profitero.

Over the last month, a basket of the best-selling toys is on average 15% cheaper at Amazon – and 8% cheaper at Tesco.com – than online at Toys R Us, where the price of one best-selling toy is more than 70% higher than at Amazon.

The Profitero analysis measures the price of the best-selling toys on Amazon and compares them with the price of the same products online at Tesco, Argos and Toys R Us. Eight of the 10 best sellers are available on all four sites and these products make up the basket for the analysis. The basket bought on Amazon is 8% cheaper than the average price among all four retailers; the same basket bought from Toys R Us is 7% more expensive.

The price of the some products can vary enormously between online retailers. The analysis shows that one of the top 10 toys, Finding Dory My Friend Dory, is on average 74% more expensive online at ToysRUs (£49.99) than on Amazon (£28.77).

Profitero UK strategy & insights director Andrew Pearl explains: “As Christmas approaches, we’re coming in to the most important buying season for toys. It’s vital for brands and retailers to closely monitor their performance on the digital shelf to remain competitive. Savvy shoppers are increasingly researching products online to choose the best deals.”

Star Ratings

The analysis also shows how varied the star ratings given by shoppers can be for the same product on different sites.  For example, top-10 toy Code-a-Pillar has a 4.9 star rating on Argos, but only a 3.4 rating on Amazon.

Star ratings and product reviews are a key driver of sales, explains Andrew Pearl; “Three-in-four online shoppers read a product review prior to making a purchase.  Higher numbers of reviews and better quality star ratings do therefore lead to greater sales. Many brands are responding to this through sampling campaigns and promotions which help to drive positive shopper engagement. What’s more, many shoppers will only purchase from online retailers that provide star ratings and product reviews.”