Amazon’s online alcohol sales up 121% YOY and online giant beats supermarkets on price, finds Profitero

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Profitero today announced the findings of its UK Pandemic Price Price Wars study, which compares item-level price competition across the UK online retail landscape. Amazon UK is heading into the “pandemic” 2020 festive holiday season with the strongest price position versus other major retailers studied. Compared to Argos, Asda, Currys and Tesco, Amazon’s online prices were 13% lower, on average, across the 16 consumer product categories featured in the study. 

The 2020 UK Price Wars study compared prices on more than 4,300 best-selling items across 5 leading online retailers, including Amazon.co.uk, Argos.co.uk, Currys.co.uk, Groceries.Asda.com, and Tesco.com

Other key findings of the report: 

  • Currys is best at stirring the pot. Currys’ online prices across 10 holiday categories analysed were found to be the most competitive with Amazon UK. Its prices averaged 6% more expensive than Amazon, compared with Argos and Asda, which were 9% more expensive.
  • Neither Asda nor Tesco can raise a glass to Amazon. Amazon is by far the leader on price across identical alcohol items, with prices at Asda and Tesco both averaging 11% higher than Amazon. This is significant considering that alcohol sales tend to spike during the festive season. Last year, Alcohol sales were up 169% on Amazon.co.uk in the two-week run-up to Christmas compared with the H2 2019 weekly average — a figure likely to be even higher this year with lockdowns in place.
  • UK retailers pick and choose their online battles. Online competition is tight in some categories like Electronics, Toys & Games and Video Games, where Argos, Asda and Currys price within about 10% of Amazon’s prices. However, Amazon has a significant lead in some areas, namely FMCG categories, like Beauty, Health & Personal Care and Household Supplies, where the price gap exceeds 20% on average.

“According to McKinsey, nearly half of consumers will choose a retailer based on price and promotions this year, putting the spotlight firmly on retailer pricing strategies,” said Andrew Pearl, VP of strategy and insights, EMEA at Profitero.

“As spending ramps up across festive gifting categories, like Electronics, Toys and Games, and Alcohol, in the coming weeks, it’s especially critical for retailers to be priced competitively to capture their share of consumer spending.” 

To access Profitero’s 2020 U.K. Price Wars report, click here