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Did Amazon Truly Rule Going Into Black Friday, 2013?

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Did Amazon Truly Rule Going into Black Friday?
Amazon is known for having the largest selection at the best prices, but does data support that as we go into this 2013 holiday season? Several retailers who have been beat up by Amazon in recent years are fighting back, but they are picking their categories. While Amazon is still overall the largest online retailer, there are cracks that smart retailers are taking advantage of.

Category: Laptops – Dominated by NewEgg
In the laptop category, both NewEgg and Best Buy are significantly beating Amazon. The chart below shows the assortment of major relevant retailers, with NewEgg having by far the largest assortment of laptops, followed by Best Buy. Amazon is a notably distant third:

product assortment

From the chart below we can see that NewEgg’s laptop assortment is across a wide variety of price ranges, with highly competitive pricing. Out of all the retailers monitored here, Amazon actually has the fewest percentage of its laptops in the lowest price range

product assortment

Category: Cameras – Best Buy Gives Amazon a Run
Best Buy is clearly not giving Amazon the camera category this year. They are matching or edging out Amazon on assortment, pricing, and promotions:

product assortment

The image below breaks out the pricing trends, showing Best Buy now pricing lower than Amazon, which has been increasing their prices. Interestingly, only BestBuy and Target have decreased their prices as Black Friday approaches, other have increased. It will be interesting to watch this trend through Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

product assortment

Category: Small Kitchen Appliances- Macy’s Pulls Head
Macy’s clearly wants to be the place to go for small kitchen appliances. They have been steadily increasing their online inventory as Black Friday approaches, resulting in the largest selection. Amazon is a distant number two. Of interest, Best Buy has also kicked up their inventory and is almost tied with Amazon. While Amazon led this category a week ago, they have not done anything significant in assortment moving into Black Friday.

The second chart shows that Macy’s is also significantly discounting their inventory, with the majority of the products being discounting 10-25%.

product assortment
Summary
Retailers are fighting back, but Amazon will continue to dominate online retailing. The above are small examples of where Best Buy, NewEgg and Macy’s have found pockets where they can challenge Amazon so they can strive to thrive.

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