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Walmart vs. Amazon - Which one is the Best?

By Ferdi Vol
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When it comes to multinational retail corporations, everyone agrees that Walmart and Amazon are the biggest names in the industry. Both of these retail companies offer the best deals on products, from brand names to local vendors. However, you may wonder, “Walmart vs. Amazon: Which one is the best?”

Both companies provide almost similar services. But if you want to shop outside, Walmart is the best option because you do not have to go too far to find a Walmart store. On the contrary, Amazon has fewer stores, but it is much more accessible when it comes to online purchases.

In this article, I will compare various aspects of Walmart and Amazon so that you can choose which one is a better option for you. You can see that both of the corporations have similar services which made them the most successful multinational retail corporations. However, they are competitors and so they are bringing new services and policies to attract customers.   

Comparison Between Walmart and Amazon 

Choosing the right store to buy your daily necessities is important because it can save a lot of money. So, you have to do some research on different retail stores before you start shopping. Here are some different aspects of Walmart and Amazon you should understand before you visit any of these stores. 

Physical Stores

Sam Walton, a former soldier, and an insightful businessman founded Walmart Company in 1962. The company also owns and operates Sam's Club retail warehouses. The current headquarter of the company is in Bentonville, Arkansas. 

According to a recent report, Walmart has 11,510 stores and clubs all around the globe, and 5.000 of these units are located in the USA. Hence, you can easily find a Walmart store in your neighbourhood. As there are many stores available, the delivery service is also faster, and customers can enjoy fresh food within hours.

The company appoints many employees to help the customers and operate the daily business. It has become one of the largest private employers in the world having 2.2 million employees. You will see many employees in the stores of Walmart ready to help you whenever you want. 

On the other hand, compared to Walmart, Amazon has only a few numbers of physical stores. It has only about 526 physical retails including 20 book stores. So, you cannot find an Amazon store like you can find a Walmart store. However, the company founder Jeff Bezos did not care about establishing physical stores. 

He created Amazon.com in 1994, targeting online buyers. Today, Amazon has become the world’s largest online market company and earned $14.541 billion in 2019. It has been creating many job opportunities for people all around the world, and the current number of employees is 1,225,300. 

So, if you are not in a hurry and prefer to avoid crowded places, amazon is the best choice for you. You have to select a delivery time and option. The products will be at your doorsteps within hours or a few days. 

Online Market Service

Walmart might be in the best position when it comes to physical store count. But when it is about the online market, the company is still in its infancy. It was even worse before collaborating with Jet.com. So, compared to Amazon, Walmart is not so successful in the e-commerce sector.

Fortunately, the online services of Walmart are improving with the launch of their new membership program Walmart Plus. The layout of the Walmart grocery store is also becoming more user-friendly. Now, buyers can browse various products from different retailers.

Now, Amazon is way more developed than any other e-commerce shopping site. Walmart spent money on building physical stores, and Amazon focused on building the biggest digital e-commerce platform. However, Walmart is expecting to grow in e-commerce with its new membership program and updated web service.

The company also has a better third-party marketplace. Reports say that 50% of sales of the company are earned from the third-party marketplace. The website is fully developed and easy to navigate that even a child can shop easily from the site.  

Product Selection

Customers can buy almost everything from both of these stores. However, you can have more brand options in Amazon, especially for clothing items, and Walmart relies mostly on their own brands. 

Walmart has a broad range of products, and the options are increasing every day since the company has launched Walmart+. Currently, it has 4 million products of various categories in stores. You can also buy or order items from local retailers or brands like Nike and Gucci. 

 In the case of product numbers and varieties, no one can beat Amazon. It has 250 million products available online, and this e-commerce site adds 50,000 new products every day. 

Walmart used to be one step ahead of Amazon for selling various options of grocers when it dominated the Wholefood market. But in 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Food Market for $13.7 billion, and prices of many items suddenly dropped in the stores. As a result, they are attracting more customers.

Price of Products

Many surveys have been conducted between identical items found in Walmart and Amazon, and it is seen that the prices of many products are cheaper in Walmart compared to Amazon. 

A survey has been done taking data from Amazon and Walmart to compare 50 identical products found in both stores. On average, the items are 10.30% cheaper in Walmart. 

10 items home goods such as paper towels, trash bags, paper plates, air freshener, toothpaste, and other items are 36.65% cheaper in Walmart. 10 identical Kitchen and appliances are also cheaper in Walmart stores. The products are 20.66% less costly than the products of Amazon. 

Walmart may be the biggest market for wholesale food and grocery but 10 matching food and beverage items are found to be 22.51% more expensive at Walmart compared to Amazon. This difference increased since Amazon expanded its Wholesale food and grocery business. 

On the other hand, the prices of 10 technology and entertainment products including Samsung and JBL products are cheap in Walmart. The products cost 4.92% more at Amazon. Besides, 10 other products from random categories are also 16.30 cheaper at Walmart.    

Amazon offers discounts for various products, especially for its Prime users. In this case, Walmart offers better discount offers, for in-store purchases. But the new Walmart+ membership program is offering great deals for both online and in-store shopping these days. 

Moreover, customers can also buy products at a low price during clearance sell from Walmart stores. The stores provide free shipping without subscription fees on many occasions.

Shipping Service and Cost

There are various shipping options for Walmart Shoppers. The Next-Day shipping service is available in specific areas, and you can get your delivery in 24 hours. You have to pay $6 for the service, but if you purchase more than $35, you can get the delivery free of charges.

The Two-Day shipping service is similar to the Next-day shipping, but it is available for more areas. Then comes Three to Five Days shipping. The chargers are the same, and it covers the same area. So, if you are not in a hurry you can choose three-five day shipping.

Also, Walmart provides a grocery pick up free service. You can search the website and buy anything you want. Next, you have to select a nearby store and select a time slot for picking up the goods. 

Walmart also offers a two-hour delivery option with fees for grocery shopping. The members of Walmart+ can enjoy a one-hour delivery service based on location. 

All these options are available for any customer of Walmart. However, Walmart now offers unlimited free delivery to its Walmart+ subscribers. 

Amazon users can enjoy free Same-day or Two-day shipping in selected areas if they buy anything costing over $35. It is similar to Walmart. You can buy grocery products like fresh produce and food with a two-hour delivery service in cities. The products will be delivered to your doorstep. 

To get this service, you must subscribe to an Amazon Prime membership. The users of Amazon Prime have to pay $12.99 per month or $119 a year. Moreover, Amazon does not have a pickup service like Walmart. So, Grocery shopping is costly on Amazon. 

Walmart Plus and Amazon Prime

On 15th September 2020, Walmart officially launched its membership program known as Walmart+ to compete with Amazon Prime. Now, the subscribers can enjoy great deals for both in-store and online purchases. 

For example, they can get unlimited free delivery service on 160,000products (food, toys, tech, beauty products, and household items) and discounts from 2,000 gas stations collaborated with Walmart. The products will be delivered as fast as the same-day with a 1-hour shipment window. 

The subscribers of Walmart+ can pay a $12.95 monthly fee or $98 yearly fee for the service. It also has a 15 days trial free of charge. It is better to get a membership if you are a regular shopper at Walmart because this program offers hundreds of discount offers and deals every day.

Another significant feature of Walmart+ is the Scan & Go option. The customers can now use this option in the Walmart App and shop faster when they are in stores. You do not have to stand in a long line or interact with the cashier. Customers just scan and pay with the Walmart App.  

As you know, Walmart has more than 5,000 stores all over the USA, and it has a huge number of faithful customers who visit the stores every day. This new subscription service will definitely bring a significant change.

Amazon Prime, the membership program of Amazon has always been a blessing for online shoppers. You can have great discount offers on almost anything on amazon when you become an Amazon Prime Subscriber. It offers a great range of videos, movies, eBooks, music, and other digital services compared to Walmart. 

However, the price of Walmart+ and the delivery time can be a matter of concern for Amazon. Amazon Prime subscribers get two-hour delivery on groceries, but Walmart+ is promising to deliver within an hour. Besides, Amazon costs $119 per year, and Walmart+ membership is only $98 per year. Hence, Walmart+ is comparatively cheap.

Return Policies

If customers are not satisfied with the products or they find some problems, they can return products at both stores. However, the stores have different return policies for different products. 

Customers can normally return products at Walmart within 90 days of purchase. Electronic products have to be returned in 15 to 30 days. In the past, customers could either take it back to the stores or they could send it back via mail. 

But, nowadays, customers can fix date and time for pick up from home. This option is very convenient for returning heavy or fragile products. 

However, these rules may not be applicable for Walmart market place sellers. The sellers may have their own return policies. Nonetheless, it must follow the minimum standards of Walmart policies. 

You can return Amazon products the same way, but it has to be within 30 days. As Amazon has a lot of third-party sellers, the sellers must agree to Amazon's return policies. Amazon is pretty strict about the rules and offers guarantees to reassure the customers. 

Unfortunately, many customers complain of fraud sellers selling low-quality products at amazon sites. The sellers become unavailable after selling products to customers, so the customers cannot return the products.

Moreover, Amazon Prime customers can choose the “try before you buy” option to try on new clothes at home before they decide to buy them. If they are not satisfied, they can return the products without paying any return charge. 

So, Amazon is more flexible when customers want to return products. Walmart may offer more time to return products, but it follows strict return policy rules.      

The debate on Walmart vs. Amazon will keep going on because both of these retail giants have their own loyal customers. So, when you decide to shop from either of these stores, research the product deals and how quickly you can get them. You can visit Walmart if you like to go out to physical stores or use Amazon if you like to purchase things online. 

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The Grocery Store Academy is a blog about everything that has to do with grocery stores. This is your #1 spot to find the right information for your needs.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has worked several years in a grocery store and has a passion for good food. He's happy to share his passion with you!
About Ferdi Vol
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