Walmart and Amazon are two of the biggest companies, brands, and stores in the US, and why not in the world. Many people know about them and buy from them, but they are interested in a commerce and marketing perspective. Even when they started from different business areas, both have faced ups and downs, creating a long rivalry that has been taken to a new level, after all, recent times, new problems, new solutions. So today, we are going to focus on them, telling you more!

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Amazon vs. Walmart: Brief history

Both companies are proof of successful stories, even when one is way older than the other, but right now, Amazon and Walmart compete to see who will be the king in the retail department. However, to understand the rivalry better, we need to look at how they have become what they are today. Check it out. 

Amazon’s History

This titan was founded on July 5, 1994. Yes, it’s close to its 30th year in the market, but the interesting part is that it started as an online bookstore. Kindle is just its answer to modern times because the bookstore is still there, having one of the largest online books catalogs in the world. In 1997 it went public. In the next year, the store was expanded to sell music and DVDs similar to what Barnes & Noble is, but online. 

1999 was the year where they brought third-party sellers into the store. Nowadays, millions are selling their products alongside Amazon. Here you can find them from small stores to big brands all around the world. In 2003 Amazon Web Services joined the family, showing how this brand wanted to conquer new territories. 2005 was the year of the launch of Amazon Prime, the paid and premium service that now is a streaming service. From then on, the growth continued, with ventures into industries such as mobile phones, robotics systems, prescription medication, and more. Also, the brand has purchased the acquisition of The Washington Post, Twitch: the gamer streaming platform, Whole Foods, and it has created several iconic devices like Kindle, Echo, and Alexa

Walmart’s History

We already stated that Walmart is way older than Amazon, but how older? The company was founded in 1967, translated into more than 50 years in the market. In 1970 it went public. The growth was iconic with physical stores locations across the US territories and beyond their borders. But it wasn’t until 2000 that Walmart started a new path embracing the digital world with the launch of the first online store, but it was in 2009 that it created its third-party seller marketplace. So far, we can say that Amazon was a winner in the online department. 

However, Walmart took one of its advantages and, in 2015, launched an online grocery pick up its first win over Amazon. In the following years, it faced several ups and downs. Still, they also learned many things about the e-commerce department thanks to the acquisition of jet.com in 2016 and following the steps of Amazon with TwoDay delivery in 2017 and then The NextDay delivery in 2019. All this takes Walmart to a new level, especially in 2020 when the online marketplace catches the attention as an opportunity for e-commerce. That year they launched Walmart Fulfillment Services and later Walmart+, pretty similar to Amazon Prime. 

Amazon vs. Walmart: Comparison

After learning a little bit about both companies’ history, let’s look at their comparison. 

Size

This aspect can be divided into several categories, starting with their shares. Amazon is the current king of retail e-commerce with control over 38% of the market, after years dedicated to this area, while Walmart only controls 8%. But even with the small number, it has 100 million monthly unique visitors to its website. Amazon follows closely with 95 million monthly unique visitors.

When you take those numbers into physical locations, Walmart is the winner with over 5353 stores across the US as of July 2020, against Amazon that only possesses 589 stores as of August 2020. This cannot be a surprise when you understand the core of each business and its processes. But when we talk about international presence, we can also note a huge difference: Amazon has its marketplace available in 16 countries. Walmart has its online marketplace only in 10, but it has physical stores in 27 countries. 

Customers

Are the clients of both companies different? Not that much. Even when they try to pretend that there is a huge difference among their clients, Walmart stated that the demographics for both companies’ clients are similar in income or generations. After all, the difference can be the products or necessities for each customer. Still, the pandemic has forced lots of people to adapt to a new buying system, and that is where Amazon’s and Walmart’s online marketplaces are thriving. 

Fulfillment

Both brands offer fulfillment services: Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which are not that different between them because both allow third-party sellers to ship their products to a fulfillment center are stored until selling them. Here they also pick, sort, pack, ship, and track products from those third-party sellers; handle shipping, returns, and refunds of any purchase; provide 2-day shipping and same-day shipping in specific areas; check if your site is one of them. The only big difference is that Walmart allows item pick-up in any store, while Amazon only allows this in selected stores. 

Marketing Services

These two brands offer marketing services for their online sellers. Still, with the 25 years of experience that Amazon has in the e-commerce area, it is very obvious that it will offer more options and features in the marketing aspect, while Walmart only has a few years in this area, so they are limited, check then out:

Amazon

  • Sponsored Products 
  • Sponsored Brands 
  • Sponsored Display 
  • Sponsored Brand Video 
  • Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP) 
  • Coupons 
  • Today’s Deals 
  • Amazon Attribution Program 
  • Amazon Posts 
  • Amazon Live 
  • Amazon Influencers 
  • A+ Content 
  • Amazon Stores 
  • Early Reviewer Program 
Walmart

  • Walmart Sponsored Products 
  • Enhanced Content 
  • Review Generation Program 

We know that Walmart will improve its e-commerce area. The pandemic has proved that we need a way to get products without risking our health. But of course, it’s understandable why Amazon has so many online sellers. Its marketing program is so good with audience targeting and metrics insights that proved higher profitability. 

Premium Services

Both companies offer premium services that display many benefits for a monthly payment. They are Walmart Plus (Walmart+) and Amazon Prime. The big difference can be that Amazon has many years with their service while Walmart offers its own from July 2020. Check out their similarities and differences: 

Walmart Plus 

  • Free 2-day shipping 
  • Early access to deals 
  • Express delivery for groceries and select goods 
  • Fuel discounts at Walmart gas stations 
  • Scan & Go service in Walmart stores 
  • Walmart dropped its minimum $35 purchase requirement for 2-day shipping in December 2020 
  • Planned Walmart Plus credit card 
  • Planned Walmart Plus entertainment package 
  • $98/year
Amazon Prime 

  • Free 2-day shipping 
  • Early access to deals 
  • Express delivery for groceries and select goods 
  • Prime Video 
  • Free video games 
  • Free access to Amazon library 
  • Ad-free Amazon Music 
  • $119/year
  • 126 million members

As we can note, Amazon and Walmart are not that different. The big problem is the experience and the years in the market. Amazon is the king in e-commerce, while Walmart has an empire in physical commerce. One is trying to compete with the other in their respective experienced field, but both have many things to catch up on. Let’s see how they will achieve this and how the world will behave in the next months. Keep in touch with the Magazine for more interesting comparisons. 

The rivalry between Amazon and Walmart.

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