Walmart vs. Amazon: Same Day Delivery


Walmart has been in competition with the large online retailer of Amazon for a few years now.  This includes price competition, product availability, and other services to attract customers.  In a new service called Walmart To-Go, customers may purchase a product available on Walmart’s website and chose to have this product shipped and delivered to their household in the same day for $10; as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The product must be purchased online before noon
  • Does not include shoes, apparel, or grocery items
  • And is currently only available in a few select trial cities, Minneapolis, San Jose, San Francisco, and Northern Virginia

This compares to a similar service that Amazon provides; however, the select cities are different and it is only for a cost of $8.99 compared to Walmart’s $10.  Walmart’s fee is firm, no matter the size or price of the product while Amazon has an extra $0.99 charge for each additional item.  Amazon’s service also is effective only if the product is purchased within a window prior to noon.  According to the retail strategist, Al Sambar, “it can be three to four times the cost for the retailers to pick items and pack them versus a distribution center.”  However, Walmart can take the risk because the corporation currently has the free cash flow to experiment with this service.  As a shipping service, Walmart will use United Parcel Service to deliver their products on the same day, as long as they are purchased before noon.

Along with the same day delivery service, the article also discusses that Walmart has been matching the prices of products in their stores with ones found on Amazon.  And according to the corporate policy of Walmart, they do not match prices of competitors.  However some stores may not uphold this policy consistently.  This technique has been done under the table, and executives are in discussion to possibly changing this price competing policy in the near future, possibly closer to the holiday season.

So in the end, who has the competitive advantage providing a same day delivery service?  Walmart has a network of thousands of stores to check availability of a certain product and has the free cash flow to experiment with such a service while Amazon “has years of customer data at its disposal.”  Amazon is solely an online retailer and has revolutionized their logistics and website, while Walmart is making strong efforts to compete in e-commerce.  How might Amazon respond to Walmart’s move to match their same day delivery service?  With the up coming holiday season, how many will choose to utilize one of these services?

Wall Street Journal Article:

18 thoughts on “Walmart vs. Amazon: Same Day Delivery

  1. It is amazing that same day delivery can be offered on so many products. It is cool to think that you could be busy all day and still be able to do last minute shopping. Walmart would seem to have the upper hand on Amazon since they have such a large amount of stores around the country/world. Also, if I recall correctly, according to the more recent Walmart TV commercials they do offer price matching.

  2. I think it is amazing how far this world has come and how advanced we are to be delivering items in one day. I hear what your saying when Walmart has a network of many stores to check availability of products. On the other hand, with Amazon being an online retailer they pretty much have any product you could think of, which is where I think Walmart lacks. Walmart has grown into a huge store, but I think with Amazon having much larger of an inventory, that more customers will choose Amazon for one day delivery rather than Walmart.

  3. I think overall even though Walmart now offers same day delivery Amazon in my opinion still holds the competitive edge for a few different reasons. The first is that their system has been in place for some time now which gives them the advantage of working out the glitches that are bound to occur when new logistical systems are put in place. As for Walmart I don’t believe implementing this system during the holiday rush is one of the greatest ways to approach this for two reasons: first the shipping industry is busiest during the holiday season so chances of packages being lost / not sent out are higher than normal seasons. Second the sheer volume that they could expect to see as one of the worlds largest retailer might just simply overwhelm their ability to keep up with demand of same day shipping. If I were to use a same day delivery and had to choose between either Amazon or Walmart, I would choose Amazon.

  4. I didn’t know either did that, thanks for sharing. I think that Amazon has a competitive advantage since they are already established as an online store. I think that people who frequently shop on Amazon will find out about the same day deliver option very quickly, as opposed to someone who shops at Walmart, since they probably visit the store in person. Also, since Walmart is mostly a store individuals shop at in person, I don’t think that these efforts will spread very quickly. Furthermore, because Walmart restricts the same day deliver to all items besides groceries, shoes, and apparel, I think they are closing some valuable opportunities. I can understand that groceries might not be the best item to deliver (since some items are perishable), but peapod does it somehow. As far as the apparel being restricted, I cannot really think of a reason why they would do that.

  5. I find that very interesting that Walmart does same day delivery. I have never looked into their services as far as delivery, but I think that they might have the competitive advantage for the fact that they don’t charge for any additional items unlike amazon. But I don’t like the fact that you can buy anything except food, apparel and shoes. It personally almost makes the delivery useless! However, I am an avid Amazon customer so would most likely stick with Amazon, for the pure fact that it is reliable. I think that both Walmart and Amazon are both differentiating themselves from any other competitors by offering the same day delivery. With the holidays coming, I have to a agree with the above comment about consumers using either delivery service during the holidays. With shipping errors and the possibility that something might not arrive the same day, then having to be reimbursed for the fact that they messed up would be too much havoc and might back up the system. But other than that, these services are good for those who find it beneficial enough for their interest.

  6. Although it amazes me that Walmart innovates to provide one-day dilivery services as Amazon does, I don’t think this would be a good strategy for walmart to expand its business. There is no doubt that Walmart has the largest retail network around the country. However, as the article points out, it could cost four times for a retailer to pick and pack items as a distributor does. Walmart is trying to compete with Amazon in Amazon’s most advantaged field–online delivery. It’s not wise if Walmart want to compete in this field without any new techniques and strategies. Maybe this is a good begining to try, but Walmart need something special to beat Amazon.

  7. I think this is a great article. Similar to what others have said I agree that it is a great way to offer such services as same day shipping. From personal experience and opinion, I feel that Amazon has more to offer then Walmart. It says that you have to purchase the item before noon, and your purchase cannot include: clothes, shoes or groceries. At Amazon there is no restrictions on what items you want to be delivered by next day. Also,I feel that Amazon has a much larger selection then Walmart because their products are coming from all over. Though Walmart has actual stores and many locations, I feel they lack the ability to sell as much as Amazon. I understand that Walmart price matches, but why would I go through all the work when I could just purchase my item from Amazon and I know that their shipping service is good quality and I receive my purchases on time and even earlier. It is great that Walmart is trying to step out and offer new services, but I think it will take a lot to be able to compare to such companies as Amazon.

  8. Wal-Mart and Amazon are leaders in two different markets, Amazon is the top providing online retailer and Wal-Mart is the leader in providing consumers with name brand products at the lowest price. Wal-Marts ability to compete as an online retailer with Amazon is questionable. I believe that both with continue to be leading providers in their respective markets, but I do not think Wal-Mart has the capability to surpassing Amazon any time in the near future. That being said, Wal-Mart’s new same day shipping policy is a close match to Amazon’s and it is very appealing as a consumer, especially with their cheap prices. However what about the goods you are shopping for? I would say that Wal-Mart is limited to what they sell and what people actually want. Amazon offers an array of products from all sorts of suppliers which people have gotten used to having. Wal-Mart’s supply is somewhat limited, to their own goods and I would not say that Wal-Mart has been the leader is providing quality. Since a large amount of expenditures online are spent on shipping and handling costs it will be interesting to see if consumers gravitate towards Wal-Mart simply to save money. If fees for same day delivery are similar, the next costs to cut is the price of the product, which is a level Wal-Mart can compete. My prediction would be that Wal-Mart will struggle to compete with Amazon especially during the holiday season, for reasons of unfamiliar market and limited product choice to consumers.

  9. I agree with the point that amazon might have the edge in quality selection. And amazon has a fair share of the online retail market. Walmart has a strong brand reputation for low cost and convenience and this will keep them going through the holiday season. However in the long run Amazon has the edge in responsiveness and customer empathy. I feel because of this along with the assurance the customers feel whens shopping with Amazon gives them the competitive advantage.

  10. It is awesome that Wal-Mart has decided to compete in e-commerce. Thanksgiving and Christmas is approaching and there are individuals who dislike holiday shopping due to the large crowds and traffic. And Wal-Mart’s same day delivery makes it convenient for shoppers to shop at their leisure with the assurance of receiving their merchandise the next day all the while avoiding the holiday crowds and traffic. Moreover, it eliminates the worry of not getting the items you desire due to limited in-store inventory. I would utilize Wal-Mart’s new same day delivery service.

  11. I feel like it would be a tough call to choose one service over the other. I have ordered items from both Amazon and Wal-Mart in the past, but for different types of goods. If I were to order a tv that was on sale, or a bedding set, my first choice would be Wal-Mart. Oftentimes if I am already on Wal-Mart’s website looking for an item I saw advertised and they do not have it at my local Wal-Mart, I will have it shipped to me without bothering to look on Amazon to see if they have the same item. On the other hand, I go to Amazon for textbooks and electronic accessories. I find that they have a lot more cheaply-priced brands for things like phone chargers and computer batteries.

    Overall, I feel like Wal-Mart has a large dedicated customer base that regularly shops at their stores every week, and they are also very likely to use the same-day shipping service that Wal-Mart offers. I would pay $10 for same day shipping from Wal-Mart because I trust their stores and products and know that they will deliver just what I wanted.

  12. I believe that Walmart will have the competitive advantage over Amazon this coming holiday season for a number of reasons. One, I believe that Walmart’s decision to compete against a company that has been number one in online sales for a number of years is an ambitious goal. I believe that people will be enticed to shop on Walmart’s online store because of the extremely low prices and $10 charge regardless of what the product is/its size. Although, Amazon has been around for a long enough time and have built a sturdy and loyal consumer base, I believe that Walmart has a much stronger/loyal consumer base. For the people that say that Amazon will take the lead because they believe that consumers will be scared that their items will be lost in the shipping process, I believe that this will not be a problem for Wal-Mart. Considering Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world, and have decades of experience dealing with customer service, I believe that they will make their logistics system work perfectly and no glitches will occur.

  13. I would say the rate at which Walmart is growing is almost scary. Walmart has the resources to try almost anything when you look at their cash flows. So it makes since that they would try a system like this to compete with Amazon, another company specializing in cheap products and convenience. Walmart will definitely have to change their pricing policies in order to compete but if it does, it could enter the e-market with ease.

    It is pretty funny that you posted this article because I have been noticing a lot of emails from Walmart advertising their online services. This must be a new strategy in order to meet their corporate mission. Walmart has been growing so rapidly these past fifteen years it will be interesting to see where they are at in another fifteen.

  14. I think the benefit that Amazon has is the fact that it has such a wider variety of products. For me personally if I cant find something at a local store I will search Amazon for it. Even if I haven’t checked locally, but I feel that the product is hard to find, I will immediately go to Amazon. I believe that it is easier to find what you’re looking for on Amazon. I also believe that Amazon has more experience with delivering products to their customers than Walmart does. I think Amazon has gotten their delivery system pretty efficient because they have more experience. It’s obvious that Walmart has a bigger network and more resources to use. It probably is a lot cheaper for Walmart to offer same day delivery too. I dont really feel like I would shop online at Walmart though. i feel like if I ever needed anything from Walmart I could just pick it up at my closest Walmart. Even during the holiday season I wouldnt think of using Walmart.

  15. I think that this move by Walmart is a very good and smart one. With the rapid changing technology, online shopping is becoming more and more common. We all know Walmart is one of the most successful retail stores and might be way ahead of many of its competitors. If Walmart becomes a big competitor online as well there is no doubt that their profits will increase significantly. I was surprise when a professor of mine told me that about five percent of the world only uses online shopping I can’t imagine what it will be like when it reaches 20 or 30 percent.

  16. I think this is an amazing idea to attract more customers to order from Walmart. Same day shipping and delivered for $10 is so cheap! Walmart is a great at matching prices with competitors and is thinking ahead with their next approach to further exceed and to expand their business.

  17. I agree with my classmates that this is a bold move by world renown retailer wal-mart. I think that this move to have same day shipping, could possibly effectively compete with online retailers, however is it really cost effective? only time will tell.

  18. I agree with the opinion that walmart will be successful in this venture. They have the capital to experiment and have a reputation of being innovators. Another advantage they have is their name recognition. They are know for being the leaders in low cost goods and services and consumers appreciate that.

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