In another example, Amazon priced one of the most popular routers on its site about 20 percent below Walmart's price. But when it came to a much less popular router, Amazon priced it almost 30 percent higher than Walmart did. Again, Amazon knows which products will drive price perception among shoppers.
"Amazon may not actually be the lowest-priced seller of a particular product in any given season," the report reads, "but its consistently low prices on the highest-viewed and best-selling items drive a perception among consumers that Amazon has the best prices overall — even better than Walmart."
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The study was part of a white paper Boomerang released on Tuesday to bring attention to the idea of price perception in e-commerce. The startup has created a "price perception index," which it described as "a numerical pricing model that captures customer psychology of price perception. It does so by providing a tangible statistic of how a company's products … are priced, relative to the competition, weighted by customer interest."
The goal of the index is to highlight how a nuanced approach to pricing — such as Amazon's — can be a smarter, more cost-effective option over simply price-matching across the board. This is where Boomerang enters the conversation: The startup wants to help Amazon competitors think about pricing in as sophisticated a way as Amazon does.
"Amazon is doing it at scale, with what is estimated to be 10 billion pricing changes across the holidays," CEO Hariharan said. "Some retailers are doing it every three months."
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