Walmart and Amazon are locked in a massive battle to be the #1 online retail giant. Amazon had a heavy lead, but in the past few years, Walmart has stepped up its game. It was losing out a lot of money to the convenience Amazon offered as a large chunk of retail sales were taking place online. Walmart decided it wanted its money back, so they revamped their website.
As the tides seem to be shifting back in Walmart’s favor (including more people shopping in the stores), Amazon decided to strike back. Rather than two-day shipping, Amazon announced it would roll out one-day shipping. They’re also working on building more Amazon Go convenience stores around the country, as well has larger distribution centers.
Not to be outdone, Walmart decided it could also offer next-day delivery on many of its own extremely popular items. Walmart still has the title of the world’s largest retailer, considering Amazon can’t currently compete. It’s all in a bit to up the convenience factor. Many of the items eligible for next day are everyday items, like diapers, non-perishable foods, and more.
Unlike with Amazon, Walmart only offers next day shipping as long as your order is $35 or above. They plan on starting this today in a few select markets, like Las Vegas and Phoenix. Over the next few days, the delivery area will grow to all of Southern California with the goal of hitting 75% of the U.S. by the end of the year.
Walmart still has a bit of distribution growing to do in order to make this promise. But as Amazon continues to offer more, Walmart feels the need to respond with something better to stay ahead. All retail stores are looking for ways to make life and shopping more convenient for their customers if they hope to keep them. We’ve been seeing the death of many major box-store retailers who couldn’t keep up with changing times.
“Customer expectations continue to rise,” said Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce division said in a phone interview. “We’re trying to get ahead of that.” More stores are going to have to shell out millions to shorten their delivery window if they hope to compete.
Amazon Changed the Game, but Walmart Competes
Competition has always been fierce between retailers. Then, times started changing. Once formidable companies like Sears, Kmart, and JCPenney were starting to go into bankruptcy and close down. They had been on a decades-long slump, but it was Amazon who put the nail in the coffin. It was in 2005 when they started offering free two-day shipping for Prime members.
Walmart decided to offer the same only two years ago. Where they can compete is the fact that you didn’t need to pay for a membership to get the free two-day shipping. As long as your order was over $35, you qualified, where Amazon requires you to be a Prime member. At the same time, Walmart has been growing its same-day delivery service for groceries.
That’s how Walmart fought their way back in. From their thousands of locations around the country, they have a better distribution system in place. They can make deliveries in a short time span. There may never be a winner to this war, as they will both continue to innovate and change the shopping world for good.