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Curious about Amazon Holiday Pricing Tactics?

A new report provides some insight into Amazon’s 2015 holiday tactics. “One key trend this season is an unprecedented level of price dynamism on best-selling items, with some products repriced far more than others,” according to the report from 360pi.

In other words – Amazon is repricing a lot more than it usually does, at least for its best-sellers.

Many online sellers engage in repricing, especially on Amazon.com where competition is fierce, so it’s interesting to see some data on Amazon’s own repricing activity for the products it sells directly on its marketplace.

Jenn Markey of 360pi first provided EcommerceBytes with some background. “Typically, we see Amazon repricing 15-20% of their hard goods assortment at least once a day during “normal shopping periods” (i.e. not the holidays).

“For the last 2 years, we’ve seen this activity spike (in some cases doubling) on key shopping dates like Black Friday.”

This year, 360pi analyzed dynamic pricing specifically for Amazon’s Best Sellers, and found it is triple the norm. The study shows that between Nov. 11 and 12, Amazon repriced:

  • 55% of its best-selling office/school products;
  • 45% of its best-selling toys/games.

The study was conducted as part of 360pi’s Holiday Insight Series – it analyzed Amazon’s holiday pricing strategy for nearly 9,000 of its high-demand items. It found that other categories with a high level of price dynamism were electronics and clothing – both highly contested gift categories.

One key takeaway that merchants should pay attention to: Markey observed a correlation between number of marketplace sellers for the same product and the level of price dynamism by Amazon proper.

In other words, the more marketplace sellers, the more Amazon price dynamism – something she referred to as “coopetition.”

Markey told EcommerceBytes that the majority of these price changes are within 1% of the original price (either up or down). “This implies a “follow the (price) leader” tactic by Amazon.”

Also noteworthy: the sheer price-change ability of Amazon. “Most retailers struggle with changing prices on even 10% of their assortment day-to-day,” she said. “Amazon is at 55% of its office/school supply Best Sellers.”

The report from 360pi is part of its annual holiday report series – you can learn more about subscribing on the 360.pi website. The company provides retailers and brands with product intelligence, helping them navigate the multi-channel landscape with real-time insight into who is selling what, where, when, and for how much.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.