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Amazon vs. Best Buy: Black Friday 2020 Preview

October 8, 2020 by Matt Wehner | Updated 8th October, 2020, 5:56 PM

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There are not many retailers who battle as closely, and as often, as Amazon and Best Buy. It’s often been said that Best Buy is “Amazon’s showroom” when it comes to merchandise; customers can view certain products hands-on inside Best Buy stores and then use their Amazon membership to acquire the item rather than checking out directly via Best Buy. Best Buy has done their best to counter that line of thinking by making price matching more accessible and staying current with their online pricing compared specifically to Amazon.

The pandemic has pushed both retailers to up their game when it comes to online accessibility. Best Buy was one of the first retailers to offer curbside pickup options to their customers. Amazon took early advantage of the stay-at-home ordinance by offering quicker deliveries and speedier checkout options. While it would have been easy for the online-only retailer to defeat a business that requires a storefront, Best Buy refused to let the pandemic shut their stores for good. And now, heading into a holiday season amid a pandemic, both retailers have their eyes set on domination.

Amazon vs. Best Buy: Black Friday history

Best Buy and Amazon so often sell the same products on Black Friday that it’s almost hard to tell their sales apart. Whether it is video games, video game consoles, or big screen TVs, both retailers tend to focus their Black Friday prices on gadgets, gizmos and home theater. It’s rare for either retailer to be that far off of pricing, though it should be noted that, in 2019, Best Buy had a lock on most of the video game bundles whereas Amazon offered great pricing on all of its own brands of electronics, namely the Echo line.

A Look Back: Amazon Black Friday 2019

Amazon offered plenty of savings to its customers in 2019, including great pricing on video games, Echo products, big screen TVs and all kinds of other smart products. Toys is one of the major categories that Best Buy doesn’t directly compete in and in 2019, Amazon certainly stole the (toy) show. They had all of the hottest toys of the year, including several tech-based toy lines, at fantastic prices. Amazon also had stellar prices for their Ring Doorbell line of products, along with a super low price on the Kindle Kids Edition.

A Look Back: Best Buy 2019

Best Buy had some of the best deals on Black Friday 2019, including one of the lowest prices for the Xbox One X Star Wars Fallen Jedi bundle as well as a handful of fantastic deals on laptops, iPad models and the entire line of Microsoft Surface devices. Best Buy also offered plenty of ways to save on cellphones on Black Friday 2019, with savings specifically falling as credits on your phone bill. Their biggest overall win on Black Friday was in their savings on PCs, the Surface line and the iPad line.

Amazon and Best Buy Black Friday 2020 Predictions

Best Buy announced on Oct. 8 that they would be releasing some of the Black Friday deals on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14, dates that directly coincide with Amazon’s Prime Day 2020. Prime Day is traditionally held in June, but due to COVID, Amazon had opted to push the event until October. As a result, many retailers have been scrambling to hold sale events of their own, but Best Buy is the first retailer to come out and directly compete with Prime Day via Black Friday deals and discounts. Best Buy is clearly preparing for war this holiday season and their main adversary appears to be Amazon.

The bigger-ticket items this year will be the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series line. Both Amazon and Best Buy will be competing for customers, and as we’ve already seen with preorders, it is going to be a rough fight. We predict that Best Buy will edge out Amazon in this category, as Best Buy has a history of dropping excellent promotions when it comes to video game releases for brand new consoles. While Amazon traditionally offers low prices on new console titles, Best Buy has paired their games with free gift cards and buy two, get one free promotions.

Both retailers will certainly change up their traditional plans for Black Friday, but we predict that Best Buy will win this part of the battle due largely to their ability to offer curbside pickup. We predict that Best Buy will get creative with some of their Black Friday plans and will include ways to save via curbside shopping, possibly tying back to doorbusters or other traditional deals. We predict that Amazon we be slightly more limited in their ways to create customer experiences, thus featuring far less interesting sale promotions.

Amazon recently announced a new line of Echo devices and has already lowered the price of multiple Amazon brand products for Pre-Prime Day sales. We predict that Amazon will dominate the Echo and Ring line of products again this year, easily creating sale prices that will be tough for any retailer to beat. Smart shoppers will want to be on the lookout for savings on the older Echo models as Amazon is clearly ready to discount them to get them out of the way for the newer models.