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53% of Walmart Shoppers Prefer Amazon to Walmart.com: What's the Deal?

Walmart may be the world's largest retailer, but when it comes to online shopping, the megastore lags behind the competition — even with its own customer base.
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Walmart may be the world's largest retailer, but when it comes to online shopping, the megastore lags behind the competition — even with its own customer base. Recent studies suggest that only 19% of Walmart shoppers use Walmart.com, while 53% of them use Amazon.com. So if Walmart is so popular, why isn't its website?

Turning Brick-and-Mortar Into Clicks

As the world's largest online retailer, Amazon beats everyone else in the online shopping space. But with worldwide e-commerce sales expected to top $1.4 trillion by 2015, it's no surprise that traditional retailers like Walmart want to get in on the action.

The question is whether Walmart's brick and mortar business model can translate to successful online sales. Walmart.com's sales rose by 30% in 2013 and the company predicts 30% growth this year as well. That might sound explosive until you realize that $10 billion in online sales accounts for a scant 2.1% of the retailer's $473 billion in total sales. Not to mention that Walmart's $10 billion lags well behind Amazon's $90 billion in yearly sales. And Walmart is paying dearly for its modest online success: the company spent an estimated $540 million on e-commerce last year, with plans to increase spending by $100 to $200 million this year.

On the other hand, one big advantage Walmart has is its physical stores, which could be used as distribution centers for same-day delivery or pickup — a puzzle Amazon is still working to crack.

Walmart Falters With Shipping

Still, Amazon's shipping is currently a lot speedier than Walmart.com's. Rush delivery from Amazon will have most products arrive the next day, whereas rush delivery from Walmart.com can take up to five days (it includes "processing time"), which is longer than many shoppers are willing to wait. Even items for which Walmart offers in-store pickup (which is far from its entire catalog) can take several days to be available. With waits like that, it's no wonder that even Walmart's dedicated in-store shoppers prefer Amazon for online purchases.

Shipping costs are a hurdle for online shopping, too, tacking on an extra price to purchases that can curtail online impulse buys. While Walmart.com offers free shipping on orders over $50 and free in-store pickup on some items, Amazon offers a lower bar with free shipping on orders over $35. And for many Amazon shoppers, the cost is bypassed with Prime membership, which offers free second-day shipping and low-cost next-day shipping on most items.

So tell us, readers: are you a Walmart.com shopper or Amazon.com shopper? And just what do you think is keeping many shoppers away from Walmart.com?


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Contributing Writer

Elizabeth is a professional writer and a non-professional technology enthusiast, with a keen interest in how tech is changing the world we live in.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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24 comments
dealguy
@pdraves Amazon isn't really any better than Walmart in how it treats its workers. There's been a litany of press about it.
pdraves
Or like DealNews!
pdraves
When my tax dollars don't have to go for public assistance to the tune of $2.66 billion annually for Walmart's workers who are employed by the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th richest people in America, I might support Walmart. Why would any consumer expect good service from employees who are treated so inequitably? What is their incentive? I can shop smart elsewhere and get better deals for better quality from companies who pay and support their workers, like Amazon.
dealnews-bglaser
@jmilt7 Don't blame Elizabeth, blame her good-for-nothing editor. Thanks!
milenko
Amazon until they open a new DC here in Florida. Then I have to pay tax. If Wally World still offers free shipping at any amount then I will jump ship to Wally World!
PNJSYJ
I have had orders shipped to the local store to avoid shipping cost. More than once I have had problems with picking up my order after I was notified it was ready to pick up because they could not find it at the store. One particular store (Which happens to be my local store.) has refused to sell me the same product for the same cost as the website. May be if I would ship it straight to my home it would be different. I know this is more against the physical store, but these feelings affect my feelings about their website.
carmarhal67
Pilm, you are obviously misremembering the numbers. Yes, 53% of Walmart store shoppers use Amazon.com, but only 19% of Walmart store shoppers use walmart.com. That's not a tie, that's a huge lag.
jmilt7
Elizabeth Harper said, "So if Walmart is so popular, why isn't it's website?"

A professional writer (as she describes herself) should know better. "why isn't it is website?" ? "It's" is used only as a contraction of "it is".
CLS9
From the surly employees to the vintage website to the cancelled orders, Walmart couldn't hold a candle to Amazon. I don't even understand the comparison. This article is a waste if space.
Pilm
53% for Amazon is a virtual tie, so they are even with Walmart today. However tomorrow is changing due to Amazon losing tax advantage and shipping rates increasing almost 10%/year. Amazon is getting squeezed by reality these days, evidenced by their almost 25% prime membership price increase, and places like Walmart, Target and Costco will benefit. Personally my spending at Amazon is less than 5%, Walmart gets around 35%, and Costco largely gets the rest.
jcauthorn
I think I may have tried to get things online at Walmart twice when they were listed on Dealnews. I buy from Amazon regularly and the customer experience is completely different and Amazon understands and delivers on what online shoppers want. I like the pick up in store option of Walmart, but that's about the only advantage they have. Which is funny, because there are 4 walmarts within 1/2 hour of where i live and i shop at one of them at least once or twice a week, sometimes much more often.
VERMINATOR
ALLIG8T0R,
Are you in NC too?
Because I swear you perfectly describe the conditions of all of my area WalMart stores.
All you missed is the filthy restrooms with no paper in the stalls (lucky if the stall has a door) & human waste liquids & solids left all over the seats.
It's funny though because they sign off each hour that the restrooms were inspected. Inspected but not cleaned / fixed for usage!
Thanks again!
Vermin
VERMINATOR
I prefer Amazon because I get sick & tired of WalMart canceling my orders for exactly no reason.
I have not had the greatest experiences in their stores, so if I do not like to shop in your physical store, I will not be spending my $$$ in their online offering either.
Amazon seems to be better arranged / easier to find the things I am looking for vs. WalMart.com
I also like to be able to cancel an order if something needs to change without calling anyone. You cannot do that at WalMart.com (if you can I never found it, but then & again since WalMart.com likes to cancel my orders so often so maybe that is considered a "benefit".
Oh and I like the Amazon smile program where I can donate a portion of my spending to the charity I choose.
Sorry WalMart.com, you just are not performing anywhere in the same stratosphere as Amazon.
Yes, btw I am in one of the states where taxes are collected on Amazon.com so that part is apples to apples!
Have a great weekend all!
Vermin
zahaidies
When it comes to brick and mortar stores versus online, the shipping and taxes would trump. Amazon doesn't have a sales tax, for me at least, whereas walmart.com does and it also has a lower bar for free shipping. Another thing is, Amazon has a much greater variety of products.
icon_st
Walmart has very bad business practices. They spend more money on ads and generating trafiic. I see them present on all kind of websites that generate traffic. How about you provide that as saving to the customer. Also they literally consider online and store as two different businesses. The staff literally made me return and order another one instead of giving me the price match. They don't match their own prices online. I know a lot of stores used to do that but not anymore.
And the biggest one is walmart doesn't have natural, organic and high end products.
harpervalley300
This is no big surprise to me. Amazon has a larger selection of many items than Wal-Mart and lower prices much of the time, too. Plus, it's easier to get something shipped to your door for free from Amazon. Amazon is just a more established player in the field, too.

Amazon is Wal-Mart of the Internet. As much as Wal-Mart likes to think they are, they aren't.
veritas
It is really very simple. When you go into a Wal-mart, a percentage of the staff have the IQ of a brick and the manners of a mosquito.
On my last order online, store pickup Wal-mart purchase, it took in excess 45 minutes. The clerk was an absolute moron. I finally called the store, asked for the manager and had her come to the customer service desk to assist me. Amazon's staff may be the same but they get your purchase shipped quickly 99.9% of the time.
tpatton
The one problem with Walmart.com is that price is only on Walmart.com. You can not go into a retail store and purchase the same product for the same price. Example: this week we went on line and found a product in the sporting goods that on sale on line for $10.00 it was out of stock on line but said it could be purchased in the stores. We checked and the Walmart close to us had it in stock but it was $18.77. I think quite a difference in price. Similar product was on sale it was a little smaller for $7.00 on line and it was $13.98 in the the store. Walmart needs to get their pricing in line with the stores they would sale more.
NatsSan
Shop Wally store once a month. We use Amazon all of the time. Shipping is a deal breaker for us. We live 35 mi from Wally. Prime for Amazon is worth it. I've found Amazon usually cheaper. I've found other online stores for other items that ship free. Wally just sticks it to you for shipping. Ship to store is not really an option because it costs over $10 just to drive to Wally. Wally stores are dirty and restrooms are really bad. Staff is not helpful (IF you can find someone).
tradderjohn
ship to store ...free

where as amazon, the same item is carried by a dealer for walmart is 12 dollars, but shipping is 8 dollars. Amazon has the same item carried by amazon. its 19.98 with prime.
Complaining someone is not a service desk, first world problems.
allig8t0r
The stores in my area are dirty, ask an employee for help and it seem like you are bothering them. Checkout, 4 lanes open 30 customer in line, 3 employees chatting and laughing at customer service desk, and all looking at the checkout line. The way Walmart looks at it, we got what you want, so deal with it.
khaveman
Just visit the site and you will see why people do not like Walmart. I checked some items I got from Amazon lately and in just about every case Walmart was more expensive and had way fewer options. It is hard to find things, the site it not user friendly, shipping is a pain, and in general they offer more low end products. If they want to take on Amazon they have to forget they are Walmart.
Phamtom
Of all the times I bought items on Walmart.com and picked it up, it took 15 to 30 minutes. It's really frustrating when you go to pick up desk to find no one there. I just stopped.
wmgary
Just the type of article I was looking for, Walmart.com have better prices and sometimes better shipping (I received an item next day once) but they're operation is so inconsistent I do about 80% of my shopping online, I
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