At first glance, you may think that Walmart and Amazon are two entirely different businesses with very little overlap. In reality, while Sam Walton’s Walmart may have a few decades on Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, the two are in fierce competition with each other, each vying for the business of average consumers around the globe.
Everyone loves to make comparisons between two giants, just like Aldi vs Walmart. Well, in this guide, we’ll do the same with Walmart and Amazon, breaking down why you may prefer shopping at one retailer over the other. Let’s discuss.
Walmart vs Amazon: The Basics
Walmart and Amazon are both successful corporations founded in the latter half of the 20th century by American entrepreneurs. If you need groceries, beauty supplies, home goods, pet food, electronics, and more, both of these companies have products that fit the bill.
Walmart is a brick-and-mortar store with warehouses and supercenters located across the nation and internationally in markets ranging from Botswana to the UK.
Walmart was founded in 1962 in Arkansas by Sam Walton. As of Spring 2020, Walmart, Inc. was the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the world with 11,500 locations in 27 countries.
Traditionally, shoppers who want to purchase a variety of items at low prices will physically drive to and enter a Walmart store. With the release of the Walmart app offering online grocery shopping with same day delivery, the almost 60-year-old company is catching up with technology, though—Walmart’s online sales grew nearly 80% in its 2020 fiscal year.
As Walmart becomes more of an “omnichannel retailer,” offering services beyond their storefronts, they’re positioned to become even stronger competitors against e-commerce conglomerate Amazon.
Walmart has also proven that it can continually perform well and grow its revenue over almost in a span of six decades. According to Adswerve, head of value expansion Dan Baril, “While Walmart’s earnings may have underwhelmed investors in the short term, what’s important to look at is the retail leader’s long-game strategy. And that game is strong.”
Walmart, Inc. is also diving into the e-commerce world with acquisitions. Walmart owns e-commerce companies Jet.com and ShoeBuy in addition to online retailers Moosejaw and Bonobos.
Amazon’s focus is on e-commerce, with no storefronts that shoppers can physically walk through, although there are Amazon warehouse fulfillment centers located around the globe.
Amazon was founded in 1994 in Washington State by Jeff Bezos; under Bezos, (he stepped down as CEO in early 2021) Amazon stock rose a whopping 225,000% since its inception.
A 2020 Forbes article describes the competition between Walmart and Amazon as a “clash of titans.” In their most recent quarter, Amazon pulled in more than $830,000 per minute in revenue. Per minute!
Amazon, perhaps most notably, put itself in a position to take on retail giant Walmart when they bought Whole Foods in 2017. Now, both retailers offer grocery pick-up and delivery, allowing consumers to shop the aisles for their weekly meal prep from the comfort of their homes. With the Amazon prime member enjoying same day grocery delivery from Amazon fresh.
Shopping Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime
Now that Walmart has grown its online presence, we can properly assess Walmart online vs Amazon shopping pros and cons.
Shoppers who are trying to decide between which retailer to use should consider the following factors about their membership subscriptions. When it comes to Walmart Plus vs Amazon Prime, consider the following:
- Membership costs – Walmart Plus membership costs $98 for a one-year commitment, while Amazon Prime membership costs $119 a year. The subscription service from both companies offers free trial periods. Walmart’s trial period is 15 days, while Amazon’s is a full 30 days.
- Average prices on available goods – A 2018 report by LendEDU compared 50 identical products from both retailers and found that overall, Amazon was 10.37% more expensive than Walmart. When it comes to groceries, Walmart has overall cheaper options than Amazon’s Whole Foods branch, plus more variety and brands to choose from. That being said, Amazon Prime members do enjoy a bevy of deals when they shop at Whole Foods, including free delivery (for certain areas), weekly bargains, and an extra 10% off items with yellow sale signs.
- Delivery options – Walmart can get you what you need to your house faster. Just look at the number of locations Walmart has compared to Amazon—Walmart has more than 5,000 retail units across the country compared to 75 Amazon Fulfillment centers and fewer than 500 Whole Foods across the entire U.S. Walmart Plus offers members unlimited free delivery on groceries, one-hour delivery windows, and same day delivery on more than 160,000 items. Prime offers members free two-day shipping, same-day or two-hour shipping with a $35 minimum purchase, and two-hour delivery on groceries in select cities.
- Additional member perks – Walmart Plus members enjoy scan and go technology which allows them to shop in the Walmart store without waiting in a checkout line. With Prime, members can access Amazon’s streamlining library of movies and TV shows, as well as Prime Reading, which gives you access to eBooks and magazines. Also, with Prime membership, if you choose no-rush delivery, you can earn gift cards for future items.
No matter which membership you choose, keep an eye out for annual deals like Prime Day and Cyber Monday and compare the best prices on coveted items like big-screen TVs or fancy exercise equipment.
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Walmart vs Amazon: which is better?
The answer really depends on who you are as a consumer. If you decide to commit to either a Walmart Plus or Prime membership, you may prefer the deals you can get on your favorite Whole Foods items versus the overall cheaper shopping experience you may enjoy with Walmart Plus.
Both Amazon and Walmart are successful corporations that will only continue to grow and compete over the next decade. When it comes to securing the most customers, convenience and affordability will be the deciding factors on who reigns supreme.
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