Madrid, 28th May, 2019. El Corte Inglés, one of Europe’s leading department stores with over 75 years of experience in this sector, opted for an omnichannel strategy more than a decade ago and has since adapted and improved its digital strategy in online sales, especially after the arrival in Spain in 2011 of the American giants, Amazon.

Both companies closed the year 2017 with an exceptional volume of online sales, with Amazon being the first online sales outlet in Spain and El Corte Ingles coming in third, with online sales reaching €4.2billion and €683 million, respectively.

On the 20th May 2019 the price monitoring company, Minderest, carried out a study to analyse the price differences between El Corte Ingles and Amazon Spain in five of the most relevant categories of the El Corte Ingles catalogue.  The aim being to discover, in detail, which e-Commerce offers the best prices in each of the categories studied.

Of the five large product families analysed, only 18 subcategories (with greater shared affinity with Amazon) were selected.

In total, the prices of 3,562 different products were analysed, and the following data for each of the subcategories was obtained:

  • Percentage of products which are more expensive in El Corte Ingles.
  • Percentage of products with the same price in both companies.
  • Percentage of products sold by El Corte Ingles which are cheaper.
  • Percentage difference of the average price between both companies.  A negative value means that Amazon is cheaper and, the contrary, positive value shows that Amazon is more expensive.

Below are the results obtained:

Category Subcategory Products % more expensive in ECI % same price ECI/AMZ % cheaper in ECI Difference
Baby Prams & Push-chairs 141 58,16% 38,30% 3,55% -10,81%
Baby Car seats 213 70,42% 26,76% 2,82% -10,21%
Sporting goods Clothes and sports shoes for men 129 48,06% 7,75% 44,19% -3,03%
Sporting goods Clothes and sports shoes for women 119 47,06% 7,56% 45,38% -3,48%
Sporting goods Mountain & Hiking 114 47,37% 48,25% 4,39% -10,60%
Electrical goods Coffee makers 128 67,19% 31,25% 1,56% -6,93%
Electrical goods Ovens, hobs and hoods 226 76,11% 19,91% 3,98% -14,78%
Electrical goods Food preparation 282 72,34% 26,95% 0,71% -10,77%
Technology Digital Reflex Cameras 100 92,00% 8,00% 0,00% -18,97%
Technology iPad’s and Tablet computers 110 76,36% 22,73% 0,91% -6,33%
Technology Mobiles and Smartphones 129 87,60% 12,40% 0,00% -8,09%
Technology Smartwatches 142 64,08% 32,39% 3,52% -4,57%
Technology Printers and Multifunction 414 87,44% 10,14% 2,42% -16,86%
Health & Beauty Hair care 142 48,59% 44,37% 7,04% -8,24%
Health & Beauty Body care 321 60,12% 29,60% 10,28% -9,70%
Health & Beauty Face 602 68,11% 26,74% 5,15% -11,21%
Health & Beauty Healthy Living 106 60,38% 26,42% 13,21% -3,44%
Health & Beauty Sunscreens & Creams 144 73,61% 22,22% 4,17% -16,07%
 

Analysis of the data by category

Baby:

• In "Prams and Push-chairs" and "Car seats" El Corte Ingles has higher prices in most products, especially in car seats, where 70.42% of the sample has a higher price than Amazon while only 2.82% of the sample has a lower price than the American giant.

• The average savings that a customer would get by purchasing their car seat from Amazon would be 10.81%.

Sporting goods:

• The only category where both e-Commerce’s are equal in price, although Amazon is still more competitive.  The average saving that a consumer could obtain when buying from Amazon a product from either sub-category "Clothes & sports shoes for men”, or for women, would be 3.03% and 3.48% respectively.

Electrical goods:

• In three subcategories that were analysed El Corte Ingles is more expensive, especially in "Ovens, hobs and hoods", where 76.11% of the sample is higher priced than Amazon.  In "Food preparation", only 0.71% of the sample have cheaper prices in El Corte Ingles.

• The savings that a customer would get by purchasing from Amazon would be 6.93% for "Coffee makers" and 14.78% for "Ovens, hobs and hoods".

Technology:

• In this category it should be noted that the sections "Digital Reflex Cameras" and "Mobiles and Smartphones", El Corte Ingles does not offer any products with lower prices than Amazon.  Something similar happens in the category "iPads and Tablet Computers", where only 0.91% of the products have a lower price in El Corte Inglés.

• The percentage difference in prices in "Digital Reflex Cameras" and "Printers and Multifunction" is one of the highest found in the study, with average savings of 18.97% and 16.86% respectively, both cases are favourable to Amazon.

Health & Beauty:

• In all subcategories El Corte Ingles is more expensive, especially in "Sunscreens & Creams", where 73.61% of the sample has a higher price than Amazon. A small percentage of the sample, specifically 4.17%, is cheaper from El Corte Ingles.

• The savings that a customer would get by buying a product from the "Sunscreens & Creams" subcategory on Amazon would be 16.07%.  In "Healthy Living", this saving is reduced to 3.44%.

Big price differences

Remarkably some important price differences are found between both companies that can suppose a big saving for those consumers that compare their specific, prices.

One of the main differences can be found in the "Twin Stroller" from Red Castle, which sells on Amazon for €589 and El Corte Ingles for €950 euros!  A massive saving of 38% (€361).

 

Another example in “Technology” is the Nikon D7500 SLR camera with 18-140 mm VR lens, available from El Corte Ingles for €1849 and Amazon for €1366.69, a huge saving of €482.31.

Conclusions

After analysing the results, we can conclude the following:

  • The average price of El Corte Ingles is more expensive in each, and every one, of the 18 subcategories analysed.
  • The category in which El Corte Ingles presents the biggest difference with Amazon is in "Technology", where even some of its sections like "Mobiles & Smartphones" offer no price improvements over Amazon.
  •  The category with the lowest price differences is "Sporting goods", where it is reduced to just 3% in favour to Amazon.
  •  If we analyse the entire sample of 3,562 products, El Corte Ingles is only cheaper than Amazon in 7.03% of the products, while Amazon is, on average, 10.62% cheaper on price than the Spanish Department Store
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