It’s no secret that Amazon and Wal-Mart going toe-to-toe this holiday shopping season online. The two companies are the go-to online places for people – which is to say, me – who hate shopping and hate malls.
With that in mind, JPMorgan has released its annual look at holiday online buying, comparing prices of a basket of 50 goods across Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target.
It really comes down to Amazon and Wal-Mart, however, as they are the only online retailers JPM looked at with most of the 50 items in stocks. Even then, however, there are six cases where only Amazon has the product, not Wal-Mart (which is why the total below is not 50).
While Wal-Mart beats Amazon more regularly on price, what is interesting is how it does it. In six of 18 cases where Wal-Mart has lower online prices, the difference is a penny, showing that Wal-Mart is likely scraping Amazon prices in some key categories and underpricing by one cent.
As the “Price Advantage” column shows, Amazon’s lower prices are, on average, lower than Wal-Mart’s when Wal-Mart has a price advantage. In other words, while Wal-Mart wins on price somewhat more often, it is often by a nominal amount, while Amazon has both more selection and generally lower prices.