Walmart vs. Amazon – The Battle for Ecommerce Supremacy
There’s an unlikely contender for the ecommerce crown, and that’s Walmart – the world’s largest business by revenue and king of physical retail space. It seems like a never-ending competitive race when it comes to Amazon vs. Walmart. Both are competing for the same market share and consumers, with none ready to give an inch to another, hence there is a continuous battle for supremacy within the eCommerce ecosystem.
These two giants are fighting it out to rule customers’ minds, hearts, and wallets – where in one corner of the ring is Amazon, the notorious champ of the online retail market in America, including its record-setting numbers in 2018 that seem to keep going up. On the other side of the ring is Walmart, which is vigorously maneuvering to dethrone Amazon, the current retail king.
If you think this battle is destined to be won by Amazon, don’t underestimate Walmart’s power and glory. The rivalry gets hotter each day as both compete for the title of ecommerce champion, and by all counts, they both are neck-and-neck while waging the battle for supremacy.
In the Walmart vs. Amazon battle, who comes out at the top? Let’s find out.
History Of The Reigning Supremacy
The battle between the two industry leaders began some two decades back, and it’s getting fiercer with each passing day as each player wants to get hold of the other’s market share and customers. It’s hard to predict the winner of the battle as it’s a see-saw competition with no end in sight.
Certainly, in today’s era, Amazon dominates the ecommerce retail ecosystem due to its primary business model. On the contrary, Walmart’s hybrid business model emphasizing physical presence and ecommerce platform handsomely contribute to its business growth.
In reality, comparing the companies’ characteristics and gathering insights into the Walmart vs. Amazon battle is complex and challenging.
A Rising Contender
According to Walmart’s latest report, the leaders of brick-and-mortar stores have progressed despite Amazon’s mammoth presence and massive US market share. The ecommerce sales of these brands showed a growth rate of 43%, whereas Walmart exclusively recorded 40% in internet sales.
Yet, Amazon still accounts for almost 50% of all ecommerce sales within the US market, and Walmart is not far behind.
Playing To Its Strengths – Walmart
It may seem counterintuitive, but the secret behind Walmart’s success is its sheer presence on the ground. It had a policy that focused on opening brand-new supercenters, which somewhat distracted the company from the emerging trend of ecommerce.
This policy allowed Walmart to build a massive network of stores where it could reinforce its online retail offerings, and this is one section where Amazon still has to make a mark in the grocery sector. Walmart has almost 2100 grocery pickup locations and 700 pickup towers, allowing its users to collect fresh and frozen food supplies along with household products. The most shocking part is that around 90% of the US population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart store or a Sam’s club.
Of course, there’s a lot more to Walmart’s ecommerce footprint than just groceries. The company had been reshaping its operations to create new business relationships in order to better position itself. Indeed, the company has been busy with a slew of smart acquisitions helping it grow a stronger footprint within the ecommerce landscape.
Walmart Vs. Amazon – Financial Equity
As of 2020, Walmart’s total equity is $74.66 billion showing an increase of 6.7%. Whereas for the fiscal year 2021, the first quarter had a total revenue of $138.31 billion, recording a 6.2% increase over the previous quarter.
On the contrary, Amazon’s total equity stood at $93.4 billion in 2020 and continues to grow rapidly. As of 2021, Amazon recorded net sales of $108.5 billion, an increase of 43.8% in revenue.
Walmart wins the financial equity by a nose, but Amazon is just inches behind. Undeniably, Walmart has a bigger total revenue number, but Amazon is quickly growing and catching up.
Walmart Vs. Amazon – Innovation
Both the companies offer cutting-edge innovation where Amazon announced biometric payments, same-day deliveries, Amazon Fresh grocery stores, FAA-approved drone deliveries, and even a salon –all during the Covid pandemic.
Amazon continues to expand its business operations and is now entering the pharmaceutical sector. Not only this, it is strengthening its smart home devices and acquiring MGM studios. Undeniably, Amazon is the leader in automation, technology, and innovation, where it aims at opening a 350,000 square-foot robotics hub to leverage its supply chain and fulfillment operations.
On the other hand, Walmart continues to innovate in streamlining its order fulfillment process and customer experience. It launched Alphabot, a platform designed to pick, pack and deliver groceries online with better speed and accuracy.
Besides this, its making strategic moves at macro levels by releasing a number of improved features and the Walmart app allowing its users to get in and out of the store speedily. All these features have been integrated into an umbrella for an unbeatable in-store experience called Store Assistant.
Using voice to order has allowed Walmart to extend its digital reach in various ways where all customers have to do is say, “Hey Google, talk to Walmart,” and the Google Assistant adds items directly in their Walmart Grocery cart.
Walmart Vs. Amazon – Customer Focus
Financial growth is significant, but it means nothing if customers won’t feel prioritized – especially in the ever-competitive ecommerce ecosystem.
Amazon ranks as the top five retailers in the American Customer Satisfaction Index due to its culture of customer obsession. Its product recommendation algorithm and personalization are simply unparalleled, with 35% of purchases coming solely from recommendations. Not only this, but Amazon has also looked into expanding grocery delivery and product delivery options such as delivering straight inside customers’ garages.
Walmart isn’t far behind with customer focus and experience, making multiple alterations to deliver an unbeatable end-user experience. It emphasizes speed and convenience with innovative online shopping algorithms.
Amazon Vs. Walmart – The Battleground Of Supremacy
While it’s easy to compare the total sales in order to determine whose heading the race, there are other caveats to consider. Bear in mind that Walmart offers a hybrid business model while Amazon totally relies on ecommerce.
However, things are on the road to change as Amazon restructures its business operations by opening physical retail stores just like its competitor.
Indeed, the battle of Amazon vs. Walmart is among the most exciting retail stories where the outcomes depend on the moves taken by each contender. Currently, both are trying to close the gap and investing heavily in their innovative platforms to win the battlefield.
Clearly, it’s too early to call the winner of this battle of e-commerce supremacy; with the ongoing maneuvering on both sides, the victory will likely go to whoever can develop a successful long-term strategy.