Amazon is reportedly launching no less than 75,000 deals for Cyber Monday this year. Surprisingly, however, Google Shopping offers lower prices on nearly 60% of the items verified by pricing research firm 360pi.
In comparison to Amazon’s marketplace, Google Shopping had lower prices on 58% of the items. Matched with Amazon proper, that figure came in at 59%. That means Amazon may not have the best possible price on the items you have your eyes on this Cyber Monday.
Who’s Really in Competition with Amazon this Year?
Though the study was conducted in October, one trend is clearly emerging for this holiday season. It’s this: physical retailers have been sorely affected by Amazon’s dominant presence in the online retail space for several years now, but this year they’re going all out to outdo Amazon and get their own businesses back on track. What does that mean? It simply means that they’re being far more aggressive about pricing this year than they’ve ever been. And it starts with the marketplace concept, which even Amazon has embraced in order to keep its product portfolio growing at a rapid pace.
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Google Shopping – formerly called “Froogle”, among other things – is essentially a marketplace with price comparison functionality. That means it aggregates the best offers from retailers all over the country and shows shoppers the lowest price for practically anything they want. Amazon, though it buys and sells a lot of products, is currently 96.5% marketplace but they handle much of the warehousing and shipping needs of their merchant network. That’s essentially what “Fulfilled by Amazon” means.
But Amazon has one strength – free two-day shipping for Amazon Prime customers. To match this, Google knows it has to play hardball. So, it uses its immense search capability to identify the absolutely lowest price on the item, thereby gaining an edge over Amazon. Google, in fact, is helping physical retailers go one better on Amazon this year.
And then there’s Jet.com, now owned by Wal-Mart. Both entities are known for their price-matching skills, and Wal-Mart’s e-commerce division has shown double-digit growth in the last quarter. This Cyber Monday, and during the entire holiday season, they’re also pushing the Wal-Mart e-commerce agenda with aggressive pricing from physical retailers on the Jet.com platform. Again, Jet.com is primarily a price-match site, but you’ll also get several other benefits like free shipping on orders over $35, free returns and even JetCash from over 600 brands on the web.
The big face-off, therefore, is not necessarily between Amazon and Google, but rather the individual retailers running their online businesses on these two platforms. Three if you throw the Jet.com-Wal-Mart combination into the pot.
With three giants now going head-to-head against each other on width of product availability and depth of discounting, there’s only one clear winner in this fight – us, the consumers.
This is a critical year for retail, and we’re already witnessing the transition from physical shopping to shopping online. On Thanksgiving Day alone, online retail volume crossed the $1 billion mark by 5pm EST and ended the day with $1.93 billion in shopping volume. Black Friday outdid that with $3.34 billion in online sales. That’s $5.27 billion worth of items sold over a two-day period. And today is Cyber Monday, so we can expect total Thanksgiving Weekend sales to easily top $7-8 billion or more. Not bad for five days of business!
So, if you’ve still got a long list of items to buy for the holidays, this is your chance to get on Google Shopping, Jet.com and Amazon.com to see what the best prices really are. Spending a little time doing comparison shopping will probably save you hundreds of dollars on deals, coupons, discount codes and app-only offers.
Here are some resources that you might find useful:
Amazon Prime Free Trial (You will not be billed if you cancel before the end of the trial period)
Have an awesome Cyber Monday!
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