Walmart and Amazon's long-simmering feud exploded in 2017 - and it's redefining retail
- Amazon and Walmart competed more fiercely in 2017 than ever before.
- It has quickly become the biggest feud in retail - and possibly all of business.
- With all of the new features that have been unveiled, consumers are the clear winners.
No feud in business was more solidified in 2017 than the one between Amazon and Walmart.
Walmart has quickly moved into Amazon's turf, eating away at online market share with a revamped Walmart.com. It now has an expanded online assortment and features that make shopping more convenient, like free two-day shipping with every purchase. It has seen a 60% increase in online sales this year, with no sign that it's slowing down.
Amazon's Whole Foods purchase and subsequent price cuts signaled it was moving in on Walmart's specialty of low-priced grocery. Though Whole Foods' 350-plus stores pale in comparison with Walmart's thousands of stores, the brick-and-mortar locations can serve as leverage in Amazon's quest to become a true omnichannel retailer.
It's a clash of the titans unlike anything we've seen in retail for years. Amazon's dominance online is well-documented, and Walmart's fleet of stores and hundreds of billions in sales is a matter of record. As each move in on the other's territory, we've seen some moves this year that appear to be direct responses to the other.
Walmart's partnership with Google and its voice-shopping platform is a direct response to the ubiquity of Amazon's Alexa. Amazon's lower free shipping threshold of $25 was put into place just a short while after Walmart instituted its free two-day shipping offer with every $35 purchase.
It's also gotten a little bit personal. Walmart made a point of putting the thousandth location for its click-and-pick grocery service in the new market of Seattle, squarely in Amazon territory. That also put it directly in competition with Amazon's grocery pickup service that opened this year, but only in two locations - both in Seattle.
With these two giants duking it out, there's a already a clear winner: the consumer. There's never been a more exciting time to buy things in America. That's why we're calling Walmart vs. Amazon the biggest retail feud of 2017.