The fierce retail competition between Amazon and Walmart is getting interesting.
Retail giants Walmart (WMT) – Get Free Report and Amazon (AMZN) – Get Free Report wage a fierce battle for business with Amazon having a much larger online presence with 2.5 billion average site visitors monthly compared to Walmart’s 429 million, Storebrands.com reported in October. However, Walmart has the brick and mortar dominance with the Bentonville, Ark., retailer having 4,650 stores in the U.S. compared to Amazon’s 29 Amazon Go stores as of November, Scrapehero reports.
Both retailers allow shoppers to buy online and have it delivered their home. So, when looking for opportunities to raise the bar in the rivalry, the retailers have to come up with new ideas.
Amazon partners with other businesses to broaden its pricing and variety of products available, since it doesn’t have many physical storefronts. In 2000, Amazon started to allow other retailers can sell its products on Amazon.com giving the smaller businesses access to Amazon’s giant audience. Walmart adopted this same retail partnership strategy in 2009 to make up for the product variety and lines that it didn’t want to carry in its stores.
Walmart has about 8,500 storefronts worldwide, and Amazon has 185 warehouses globally and of that 110 are in the United States. Both retail giants have a reach that is hard to match both physically and digitally. It’s almost impossible for smaller retailers to compete with these retail giants.
Copycat Business Strategies
Amazon and Walmart will imitate each other’s best ideas to try to level the playing field as much as they can. Walmart didn’t reinvent the wheel, but it did find a way to match Amazon’s ability to use a photograph for shopping. Amazon’s StyleSnap launched in 2020 allows shoppers to purchase products in an influencer’s picture, or just take a picture of what they are shopping for, and Amazon will use artificial Intelligence to analyze the picture and find the product or similar products that are available for sale, Insider.com reported.
Walmart revealed that it just launched TrendGetter, a similar shopping feature on Walmart.com and on the Walmart app that works like Amazon’s StyleSnap, where shoppers take a picture and results show the product or similar products to what is in the picture.
Amazon, however, raised the bar, just as Walmart caught up. Amazon is launching a new shopping experience in a TikTok format. Shoppers will be able to use the new Inspire tool in the Amazon app to explore new and trending styles and products. The new feature is not yet out for all to use, but it will be coming in a few short months, RetailDive.com’s Dani James reports.
Shoppers using the Amazon app will see a lightbulb icon in the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen and will be able to access Inspire from there. And just like any shopping experience with Amazon, shoppers will be able to customize the trends that they see by telling Inspire their interests.
“Engaging and fun short-form video content is the easiest way to get my audience’s attention,” Amazon Influencer Practically Pursia said to RetailDive. “Inspire is going to help me expand the business I’ve already built with Amazon by giving my audience the convenience of shopping items from my content within the Amazon app instead of requiring them to leave and find the item on their own. It’s genius.”
Having the Upper Hand
It’s up in the air on who might have the upper hand right now. Amazon and Walmart now both have a shopping experience that has the ability to shop by taking a picture. Both retail giants allow shopping online and allow customers to have products shipped. And both retailers allow third party sellers through the websites.
What is still to come will likely be duplicated by each of the retail giant, whether it’s drone deliver or driverless car delivery. It’s all in the works, but how best to implement the newest strategies will be the challenge for either one to replicate to level the playing field once again.