- The retail war between Walmart and Amazon seems to intensify every day.
- Each company’s new initiatives increasingly look like the best ideas of the competitor.
- This is the future of retail.
If you want to know what the Walmart of the future looks like, it’s best to look at Amazon for a rough sketch.
The same goes for the reverse.
As Walmart and Amazon become fiercer competitors, they’re starting to look more and more like each other. Walmart continues to move its business online as Amazon moves offline, and they’re becoming the first two truly omnichannel retailers in the process.
Walmart is still the indisputable leader offline as the largest retailer in the US — and possibly the world— by sales, while Amazon still dominates online.
As businesses start to think about an equilibrium between online and brick-and-mortar, there’s no better time to consider what America’s biggest retailers will look like in the future.
One of the most obvious recent examples is the development of in-home delivery programs. Walmart was first to the punch, launching its limited pilot program with August Home in September. Then, in October, Amazon leapfrogged it with a nationwide rollout of its own program, which it called Amazon Key.
Though it’s unclear who started developing the ideas first, the fact remains that both retailers were working on what amounted to the same service at exactly the same time.
There are larger examples from just this year
Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods and its 450 stores put it on the map with a significant brick-and-mortar presence. That only makes Walmart and Amazon more similar in that they both have physical stores in their portfolio.