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Walmart holds decided edge over Amazon in this key online segment

Research finds consumers turn to Walmart for online groceries, everyday items

While Amazon continues to dominate Walmart in online sales, when customers are looking for groceries and other everyday items, they turn to Walmart. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The two largest e-commerce marketplaces continue to do battle, but one is holding a clear upper hand when it comes to affordable, everyday items.

And it’s not who you think.

According to new research from Jungle Scout, consumers are more likely to turn to Walmart for groceries and other affordable, everyday items (e.g., medicine and cleaning supplies) than Amazon by a 56%-to-15% margin. The data also found that 43% of consumers cited product prices as the main reason they would shop at Walmart over Amazon.

The data is included in Jungle Scout’s 2022 Amazon vs. Walmart Report, released last week. The study included information from 1,000 U.S. consumers and financial reports. Jungle Scout is an e-commerce platform for businesses looking to sell on Amazon, with retailers on the platform conducting over $40 billion in annual Amazon revenue.

“The retail environment is constantly changing due to economic currents and consumer whims,” said Michael Scheschuk, president of small & medium business and chief marketing officer at Jungle Scout. “Amazon and Walmart are both leveraging online and offline technologies as a way for brands to create more dynamic solutions that satisfy their customers. Investments like Amazon’s Dash Cart in Amazon Fresh stores and Walmart’s Virtual Try-On in their iOS app will raise the bar for all retailers and improve consumer experiences.”

Amazon is still king

While Walmart (NYSE: WMT) holds a decided edge when it comes to groceries and everyday items, Amazon maintains its dominance overall. Jungle Scout found that 73% of U.S. consumers have purchased from Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) recently compared to just 43% from

The search process also is more likely to happen on Amazon, with 63% of consumers beginning their product search there. Just 43% do so at Walmart. Additionally, 57% of those surveyed had an Amazon Prime membership, but just 31% said they had Walmart’s equivalent, Walmart Plus.

The latest data from Statista found that Amazon holds a 37.8% e-commerce market share overall compared to Walmart’s 6.3%. Both companies rely heavily on third-party sellers, the report found, with Amazon’s marketplace comprising 82% and Walmart’s nearly 79%. 

Overall trends

Jungle Scout provided an overview of both companies’ operations. 

Although Amazon again dominates e-commerce sales ($50.9 billion versus $19.2 billion) and subscription sales ($8.7 billion versus $1.5 billion), e-commerce sales growth is trending in opposite directions. The report said Amazon’s sales have declined 4.61% while Walmart has seen an 11.98% increase.

The two companies also vary significantly in other areas. There are approximately 6.3 million third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace compared to just 150,000 on Walmart Marketplace, Jungle Scout found. Conversely, Walmart has 3,335 physical retail stores to Amazon’s 570, leading Walmart to hold a significant edge in revenue at $151.4 billion to Amazon’s $121.2. billion.

Shopper comparison

Jungle Scout asked shoppers why they chose Amazon or Walmart. 

While Walmart held the edge when it came to pricing, Amazon held edges for shipping prices (40%-29%) and membership benefits (36%-19%). Walmart led in familiarity of products (41%-23%) and repeat or routine customer loyalty (32%-23%).

Both companies were noted for their return policies, with 24% saying that is a reason they shop at Walmart and 23% citing Amazon for the same reason. Naturally, Walmart’s physical store network was a factor for 32% of shoppers. Conversely, 27% said Amazon was good for acquiring hard-to-find items.

When it came to comparing how often consumers shopped on either online platform, there was little difference between the two companies’ customers, with once-a-day shoppers at 8% on Amazon and 10% on Walmart, and four to six times a week at 12% and 11%, respectively. Overall, 48% of consumers shop on Amazon at least once a week, and 43% do so on Walmart.

Finally, Walmart shoppers were more likely to spend less than $99 per order at 71% compared to amazon’s 57%. But Amazon shoppers (33%) were more likely to spend between $100 and $499 compared to Walmart shoppers (20%).

Click for more Modern Shipper articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]