Two of the biggest retailers have been vying for the top spot for a few years. It’s Amazon, a massive online presence turned brick-and-mortar, versus Walmart, the original big-box store branching out into the digital and delivery space. Lately, these companies have adapted to meet customer needs while making a sizeable profit. Walmart sales in the last quarter of 2021 exceeded $150 billionwhile Amazon lagged slightly behind at nearly $137 billion.
It’s safe to say that what they sell, a large population of US and international customers buy. But as competition ensues and with rising inflation, it’s increasingly important to understand how you can stretch your portfolio. Which will give you the most bang for your buck? Well, that’s a bit of a tough question to answer – it depends on what you prioritize in your shopping experience.
Amazon and Walmart both offer their own discounts and sales events. Prime Day, the annual two-day event where Amazon members rack up exclusive savings in their digital shopping carts, has been on consumers’ calendars since 2015. Walmart’s rival for Prime Day, Deals for Days, has debuts in 2021 and spans four days, both in-store and online.
While a subscription isn’t required to participate in sales, shoppers who subscribe to Walmart+ generally get early access to all offers. Not only that, but according to company website, the $98 per year fee entitles its members to free same-day shipping on more than 160,000 items, 10 cents off every gallon at 14,000 gas stations, and additional offers throughout the year. For example, in June, the retail giant hosted a Walmart+ weekend, with 20-50% off select electronics, apparel, home, toys, outdoor and school supplies for members only. .
With a higher annual fee at $139 per year, Amazon’s first comes with free two-day shipping for a wider range of items. It also offers grocery delivery, thanks to the acquisition of Whole Foods and recent expansions of the brand’s own food chain, Amazon Fresh. This means you’re paying for convenience and access to a wide range of quality products. And if you shop on Prime Day, you can expect to get the best deals of the year on pricey electronics, home goods and kitchenware.
However, it’s hard to compete with “everyday low prices”, and Walmart is getting ahead here. A analysis by LendEDU in 2020 found that in a comparison of 50 items sold by the two companies, the final total at Walmart was 10% lower than that at Amazon.
One notable category where Amazon overtook Walmart – food and beverages, by 22%. But for the savvy buyers, maybe they can take advantage of Walmart Price Match Policywhich will match the price of an item at another retailer as long as it is in stock and the make and model are the same.
So where can you find the best deals? Speaking of direct savings, Walmart seems to be the best competitor so far. But Amazon’s efforts to expand its territory and its firm grip on the e-commerce industry put it in a position to get ahead, potentially as early as 2024.
Sarah attended Northwestern University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and experimented with blending technology and journalism. Read more