Amazon vs Walmart Marketplace: Two Great eCommerce Selling Options
In today’s eCommerce marketplace, there are two main giants for online consumers in the U.S. – Amazon and Walmart Marketplace. Amazon encompasses almost 40% of all eCommerce sales, while Walmart brings in a little over 5% of online sales.
But even though Walmart may seem like they’re lagging behind Amazon considerably, it would be unwise to discount them from the online sales game. Back in 2016 the big box giant acquired Jet.com, and since then their eCommerce sales have nearly tripled. Just in the last three years, they have been dedicating more resources to upping their game with respect to online sales operations, and it’s clearly paying off.
The latest (and largest) addition to their lineup is Walmart+, which is bringing a competitive aspect to the marketplace with additional online shopping options for consumers.
Walmart + Explained
As a new membership option, Walmart+ charges $98 per year to members and offers them special perks such as free delivery on a wide range of groceries, technology, toys, household, and beauty items. Their delivery model looks good, with over 160,000 items able to be delivered as soon as the same day. Amazon, in comparison, offers 3 million products with same-day delivery via Amazon Prime.
In addition, the Walmart membership fee covers ‘scan and go’ technology, allowing customers to shop in the brick-and-mortar stores, but scan and pay for items with their smartphone as they shop. This eliminates the need for them to stand in line at check out.
Comparing the Two: A Broad View
In the eCommerce shopping realm, Amazon has a clear head start when compared to Walmart Marketplace. The worldwide online shopping leader always focuses on innovation and new technology, which all but secures Amazon’s place as an online shopping leader. Amazon also has an advantage for its sellers in the form of Amazon Web Services. This is an advertising program for sellers that they have been improving upon for some time now.
The advantage that Walmart has, however, is that 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of their local Walmart store (4,700 U.S. stores in total). This fact alone makes Walmart’s physical retail presence much larger and stronger than Amazon’s. Additionally, their vast grocery goods are offered at better price points compared to Amazon’s main grocery retailer, Whole Foods.
It all comes down to what the consumer’s needs are. The same is true from a seller’s standpoint. Walmart+ is giving Amazon a run for their money, and both companies will continue to pivot as the needs of the overall marketplace evolve.
Level of Competition
You may have gathered by now that sellers on Amazon struggle quite a bit with their competition. To stand out from the rest selling similar products, sellers need to get more eyes on their store and their products in order to generate sales. To do this, sellers need to invest in their business wisely. This takes time, effort, and money.
As with any business model, an Amazon seller cannot simply ‘set it and forget it.’ While this may have worked in the past to a degree, in today’s competitive online world, your product listings need active care and attention to get noticed. If you are simply waiting for your listings to gain traction and generate high traffic, you will be sorely disappointed. Don’t waste time that could be spent on optimizing your listings in the best way possible. The idea is simple: no traffic equals no sales!
Competition will remain high and likely get even higher in the coming years. You as an Amazon seller should focus continually on improving the quality of your product listings. Things such as using all available image slots, monitoring and adjusting keywords, and allocating an advertising budget are all things that need constant attention. Focus on making your product selection the best it can be, and you will not only be improving the customer experience, but you will be elevating yourself as an Amazon seller.
Similarly, there is an interesting opportunity in the eCommerce space for sellers to get in on the Walmart Marketplace. Currently, there is far less competition for sellers on this platform. But with the launch of Walmart+, this will likely increase. More than likely, there will be a higher sales velocity and reviews for those that are just starting to sell on Walmart, and not have to put in as much effort. This ‘first wave’ of sellers will likely compete well with the inevitable new wave of competition that will eventually enter the third-party marketplace.
Where Should You Sell?
That entirely depends on your situation and goals as an eCommerce seller. Both Amazon and Walmart are huge, established names in the marketplace. Walmart is arguably the faster growing marketplace and is continually making improvements by adding new features to make it a better experience for their sellers.
While Walmart currently has less competition over Amazon, it is a good idea to start selling on the platform sooner rather than later to get in on the game early, once your application is approved. Having said that, the application process tends to be lengthy, which could delay selling on the Walmart marketplace.
Amazon is a highly competitive marketplace, but they do offer some selling advantages that tend to outweigh the con of high competition. Their selling features and technology are more robust, but Amazon does not require an application or vetting process to get started.
The bottom line is to explore all of your options. As a seller, the best strategy is to go where your target market leads you. For many sellers, this means selling on both platforms. Or, perhaps one clearly suits your target market better than the other. While Walmart+ has a lower membership fee and has physical stores, Amazon Prime’s membership is higher, but they have more products available for same-day delivery.
Lastly, consider which benefits your target customers would prefer. While both platforms offer groceries, Amazon also offers music and video streaming, while Walmart+ offers discounts on fuel. Determining your target demographic will allow you to make sound decisions to serve your business better.