Shopping to Save? Comparing Amazon, Walmart, and Target Prices

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From staff reports

There was a time where shoppers may not have cared if Amazon was slightly more expensive than big-box retailers — the convenience outweighed any slight differences.

But now that the two biggest of the big boxes have upped their game when it comes to online shopping, LendEDU looked to see where the bigger savings really were: Amazon, Walmart, or Target?

“While Amazon has long been considered the most convenient option for buying practically anything online, Walmart and Target are getting competitive,” writes Ted McCarthy. “The latter two both offer free two-day shipping on orders of $35 and over without any membership required.”

Amazon offers free shipping (and several other amenities) with its Amazon Prime, which costs $12.99 a month or $119 a year.

LendEDU compared 50 nearly identical items from Amazon, Walmart, and Target to see what the pricing difference was. To qualify for the comparison, the items had to be available for shopping on all three sites. The comparison looked at home goods, food and beverage, kitchen/appliances, technology and entertainment, and miscellaneous items.

Walmart was slightly cheaper than Amazon — but only if you were buying all 50 comparison products at once. Target was 1.24 percent more expensive than Amazon.

“However, Walmart was 5.50 percent more expensive per item on average than Amazon, while Target was 1.24 percent more expensive per item on average when compared to Amazon,” McCarthy said. “The only category where both Walmart and Target beat out Amazon on price was in the Food & Beverage group, by 4.61 percent and 7.30 percent respectively. ”

When it comes to home goods, Target was 1.30 percent more expensive than Amazon on average, while Walmart was cheaper by 0.01 percent on average.

“Out of the eight items categorized as Kitchen/Appliances, Target was 1.17 percent more expensive in total, while Walmart was 9.30 percent more expensive in total than Amazon,” McCarthy said.

When it came to miscellaneous items, Amazon won hands down. Target was 4.39 percent more expensive in total, while Walmart was 4.99 percent more expensive in total compared to Amazon.

For technology and entertainment, McCarthy said Target was more expensive, but Walmart was substantially cheaper.

“Target was 1.03 percent more expensive in total, while Walmart was 4.19 percent cheaper in total than Amazon,” he said. “Per item on average, Target was 1.42 percent more expensive, and Walmart was 1.95 percent more expensive than Amazon.”

The conclusion? Target is only 0.97 percent more expensive than Amazon. Walmart is 1.79 percent cheaper, which means that the difference between the brick-and-mortar big box and the e-commerce big box is becoming more and more negligible.

“Traditional retailers realize that e-commerce is paramount to their continued success, so they are starting to become more competitive in online pricing,” McCarthy said.

To see the full report, click here.

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