Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is stealthily removing suggested retail prices from a growing number of online listings, as the company continues to build an ecosystem that cements shopper loyalty.
For many products currently for sale from both Amazon and its marketplace sellers, there is just a one price and nothing to compare it to, according to The New York Times, which has been tracking online prices for 47 products on Amazon. The list price disappeared on 39 of these products during the Fourth of July weekend.
"Our data suggests that list prices are going away," said Guru Hariharan, CEO of Boomerang Commerce. "Amazon is a data-driven company with very few sacred cows. At the very least, it is conducting a storewide test about whether it should change its pricing strategy."
Amazon's pricing has long been a moving target. Its dynamic pricing model can change prices multiple times a day. Recently a pricing study by Boomerang revealed that Amazon was more expensive than Walmart and Target on a number of grocery items by a wide margin.
But shoppers are increasingly turning to Amazon first, bypassing even Google in product searches. Consumers have become so accustomed to Amazon offering the lowest price, best value or convenience associated with Amazon Prime, that they no longer feel compelled to comparison shop.
Prime now boasts more than 50 million members, according to some third-party estimates, with retention rates close to 100 percent.
By removing list prices, or suggested retail prices, Amazon is effectively competing only with itself.
- see this New York Times article
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