Online Battle with Amazon

In the online battle with Amazon, will Walmart be able to catch up with Amazon. Frankly, I believe it will be difficult but not impossible. In my mind Walmart will only be able to catch up with Amazon if they become a clone of Amazon in every way. Again, this is not easy to achieve yet not impossible.

The original article about Walmart below by Businesswire, the source of my thoughts and comments outlines the direction Walmart is taking as presented at Walmart’s 47th Annual Shareholders meeting.

In summary, Walmart is aiming to become a company that is “People led and Tech-Empowered”. In contrast, one could argue that Amazon is the opposite, Tech Led and People Empowered. Either way, Amazon is miles ahead in the battle for retail.

Online Battle Breakdown

Let’s break it down into digestible pieces. On the financial side, ignoring the financial status of both companies for this strategic review, Amazon is spending tons of money charging forward and expanding into online presence for any product category they can lay their hand on. In line with their Mission to take over the retail world.

In the meantime they (Amazon) are expanding their distribution channels, their regional and local warehouses to get nearer their customers, shortening the delivery time and helping Prime two day delivery. You have probably read about their latest endeavor into brick and mortar, their own stores and recently the purchase of Wholefoods. Strategically a clever move in my opinion because if there is one weakness with online products, it is perishables like basic day to day food products. And that’s where brick and mortar retail stores/chains keep an edge.

In the meantime, Walmart, and other big chains are still in restructuring mode, retreating by closing in some cases hundreds of stores while Amazon is already on to the next product group or category. So the big question is how will Walmart’s brick and mortar distribution channel (read stores and distribution channels) stack up to Amazon’s once they are done. Next how does Walmart’s online presence and marketing compare to Amazon’s, notably Prime Membership. Walmart has a steep hill to climb but it will cost a lot of money to get even close, and maybe they can catch up to Amazon, but will that be possible at a profit.

My final thought for this article is customer, consumer awareness. When you want to do research for something the first site that comes to mind is Google. When you need to buy a product, the first site you go to is Amazon. Both because it is very likely you get the best price, but also because, provided you are a Prime member, you get free shipping and other deals.

For Walmart to change what in my opinion has become a culture is going to be very difficult, takes a significant amount of time, must be spot on and will be very expensive. So in conclusion I believe Walmart has a fighting chance but oh my, will they have their work cut out for them, notably on the marketing side.

The original article about Walmart’s Online Battle appeared in  Business Wire. Please click the link below to read more:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today at Walmart’s 47th Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, President and CEO Doug McMillon said Walmart has “started to invent the future of shopping again,” as the company leverages technology to empower associates and improve the customer experience.

“We’re going to make shopping with us faster, easier and more enjoyable. We’ll do more than just save customers money and you, our associates, will make the difference. Looking ahead, we will compete with technology, but win with people. We will be people-led and tech-empowered.”

Source: Businesswire – Consumer News

Walmart CEO McMillon Outlines Vision for ‘Future of Shopping’ at Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

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