The retail industry is flooded with different corporations that aim at supplying different products to consumers. The flooding aspect makes it essential for every corporation to adopt unique marketing strategies that aid in making it relevant. Amazon and Walmart are examples of firms within the retailer industry. Through different article reviews, it is evident that the two retailers have specific means by which they engage with their customers and use digital platforms in these interactions. Without unique marketing strategies, these stores would have become irrelevant in the retailing industry; therefore, it is essential to compare and contrast their marketing models.
Walmart is one of the leading retailer organizations in the USA. It was founded in 1962 and has an estimate of $79.6 billion equity (Morgan, 2019). It is among the largest groceries in the state with almost $270 returns from the section (Morgan, 2019). Initially, the firm was focused on the brick-and-motor industry, however, it is gradually expanding to e-commerce through platforms such as Walmart.com and Jet.com (Morgan, 2019). It makes the store a viable competitor of Amazon.
Amazon is an online retailer organization that offers a variety of products to its users. It is slowly setting up physical stores such as Amazon four-star. It has been in existence for over 25 years in the USA (Morgan, 2019). The total equity of the corporation is $ 43.99 billion with over 600,000 employees (Morgan, 2019). In the grocery section alone, the retailer made over $20 billion returns (Morgan, 2019). Although the company was mainly instituted as e-commerce, it is expanded into brick-and-motor (Morgan, 2019). The institution of e-commerce in Walmart makes them viable competitors.
Value Proposition of Walmart and Amazon
Amazon and Walmart offer optimum value proposition to consumers. Walmart offers a wide variety of products within its physical stores. The products go up to an estimate of 23.5 million in its stores and other distribution channels (Soncini, 2020). However, it does not come close to almost 375 million products offered by Amazon (Soncini, 2020). However, when it comes to pricing, Walmart is the best alternative. Shopping is relatively cheaper in Walmart as the buyers have an alternative of picking items from the physical shop for zero cost (Soncini, 2020). On the other hand, consumers pay up to a $119 membership fee to subscribe to Amazon Prime services (Soncini, 2020). With this price, the delivery is faster and more convenient than Walmart. The evaluation depicts that both stores are viable to different consumers. Amazon is viable to consumers that are willing and can afford to pay extra for convenience. Walmart is the best alternative for cost-sensitive consumers who are willing to visit physical stores.
How Walmart Builds Relationships with Consumers
Walmart is one of the leading corporations with the best customer service experience due to its well-trained employees. The store is focused on training its employees to offer customers the best shopping experience (Hyken, 2016). Its sales personnel are trained specifically to help consumers locate items within its physical stores (Hyken, 2016). The employees focus on ensuring that the consumers get what they need in the shortest time possible; thus, making their shopping experience efficient and convenient. With this factor, the corporation provides an impeccable customer service experience.
The corporation uses a multichannel strategy to stimulate its relation with the consumers. According to Banker (2017), Walmart’s multi-channel strategy has made it one of the best retailer to shop from. The strategy involves a combination of store and e-commerce presence to boost sales through multiple product supply to the customer (Banker, 2017). It makes the consumer aware of the new product lines and the different offers in the retailer channels. With the information, the store can offer a variety of goods to its customers seamlessly. It aids the consumers to access Walmart’s products with ease whether online or within the physical stores.
The corporation uses e-commerce to engage with its customers. The corporation established digital platforms that enable consumers to interact with the company. Through its application, consumers can easily return their items (Heller, 2018). The application enables them to initiate returns and present them at customer service within any physical store (Heller, 2018). The feature makes the whole return process easier for both the store and the customers. It enables the consumers to trust the store as they can return products that do not satisfy their needs or unfit for consumption. Therefore, the corporation’s digital platform aids in building its relations with the consumers.
How Amazon Builds Relationship with Consumers
Amazon uses data unification to provide excellent customer experience service. The retailer looks into the consumer behaviour and evaluates the products that they prefer (Coleman, 2018). The corporation then gives different suggestions to the consumer on the items that would satisfy their needs. The strategy works in a manner that the retailer’s applications present suggested products that relate to buyers’ profiles (Coleman, 2018). The feature makes shopping convenient as the shopper can easily pinpoint the products they want to purchase. With this factor, the retailer offers one of the best customer service experience in the world.
The company utilizes a customer-specific strategy to build its relations with the consumers. It uses an omnichannel strategy that ensures that all the firms’ outlets focus on consumer behaviour and offer products that meet the preferences of the majority of its shoppers (Serrano, 2019). The strategy ensures that all the stores; both online and physical make personalized offers and product lines for their customers. With this strategy, the firm boosts its sales while ensuring that its customers are satisfied. It helps the store strengthen its relations with the buyers.
The corporation utilizes e-commerce to boost its customer service. Amazon is mainly an online store; thus, prompting it to invest in features that makes shopping easier and convenient for its customers. The store allows customers to make their purchases at their convenience through its smart speaker feature (Serrano, 2019). Consumers can make their purchases within the comfort of their beds by simply requesting Alexa to purchase the products for them (Serrano, 2019). With this feature, most individuals prefer the store to other retailers that lack the feature. Therefore, digital platforms enhance the retailer’s customer service experience.
Comparison of How the Two Retailers Relate with Consumers
Amazon and Walmart pride themselves in impeccable customer service experience. Both corporations are focused on building perfect relations with their customers. Both companies use e-commerce to boost their sales and satisfy consumers. However, whereas Amazon employs an omnichannel strategy, Walmart utilizes a multi-channel strategy. Amazon focuses on consumer data to offer items that meet their profiles while Walmart uses data from consumer reaction on the data they provide on its product offers. The fact that it focuses on offering personalized services makes it a better option. According to Morgan (2018), Amazon led with 82% customer experience and Walmart was at 74%. When the two companies are compared, Amazon offers a better customer service experience.
How Walmart Uses Digital Platforms to Interact with Consumers
Walmart makes use of digital platforms to improve its availability to consumers in the retail industry. The store has a majority of physical stores. However, there is a constant need to improve its coverage to areas that lack its stores. The introduction of digital platforms such as Jet.com enables customers from these regions to conduct their shopping. For instance, Jet.com offers free two-day shipping for products above $35 (Banker, 2017). The platform makes it easier for them to access Walmart’s products without visiting the physical outlets. With this feature, the retailer increases its market base; thus, boosting its sales.
Walmart’s application enables the retailer to make shopping simpler for its consumers. Walmart application presents the users with an alternative of creating a shopping list (Heller, 2018). The list is more convenient than the physical handwritten list since it cannot be lost. The feature allows the consumers to enter simple language such as “bread” within the application (Heller, 2018). The results present the user with a variety of brands to choose from. With this list, the users can conduct their shopping both online or physically with ease.
Walmart uses its digital platforms to provide delivery services to its consumers. Jet.com and Walmart application allow users to purchase their items online and opt for home delivery. Since Walmart has the capacity, the store delivers both perishable and non-perishable products. The digital platforms also offer the consumers an alternative to making online purchases and physical pick-ups. Banker (2017) depicts that these platforms are connected with physical stores such as Walmart pick-up, pick-up today, and online grocery.
How Amazon Uses Digital Platforms to Interact with Consumers.
Amazon uses digital platforms to provide customized services to consumers. The different Amazon applications such as Amazon Prime perform data unification (Serrano, 2019). It looks into the consumers’ demographics such as age and offer products that they deem fit for their consumption (Coleman, 2018). The analysis of the consumer trends is done through the application and enables the store to offer items that meet their customers’ demands. The application has made it possible for Amazon to create Amazon 4-star. It involves the creation of stores specifically for products that are rated 4-star and above (Serrano, 2019). It makes it easier for consumers to pick items from the physical store with the knowledge that it is high-quality. Without digital platforms, innovation would be impossible. Therefore, Amazon uses digital platforms to meet the needs of its consumers.
Amazon utilizes digital platforms to boosts its market base. Amazon prime offers a premium customer service experience. It offers a free subscription to videos, music, product discounts, and wardrobe (Serrano, 2019). These subscriptions increase the usage of Amazon prime applications. For illustration, prime wardrobe allows the consumers to try on clothes virtually; hence, attracting shoppers who purchase clothes online (Serrano, 2019). Since the clothes will be fitting, the buyers will return for more purchases. They will inform other consumers about the feature. As a result, the store will not only meet the demands of the consumers but also increase its sales.
Amazon digital platforms make shopping easier for its consumers. They allow the retailer to offer delivery services to its consumers. The application makes it easier to deliver products to consumers at their convenience. It uses autonomous robots to deliver packages to the different addresses as specified by the buyers. As a result, consumers will prefer to make purchases from the store with the knowledge that they will get their products in the shortest time possible. The innovation of the smart speaker makes it easy for consumers to order their products. Individuals who find it hard to navigate through the application may shop through smart speech. According to Serrano (2019), an estimate of $2 billion in sales was made over voice. Indeed, Amazon makes it easier for individuals to shop.
Comparison of the Use of Digital Platforms Between the Two Retailers
Amazon and Walmart use their digital platforms to increase their interaction with the consumers. Their digital platforms aid them in improving their customer service experience and making shopping easier through the delivery channels. The list feature on the Walmart application makes it more convenient than Amazon. However, the variety of features in Amazon beats Walmart. The free subscriptions in Amazon prime, especially the wardrobe feature, and smart speaker makes Amazon first when it comes to using digital platforms to interact with consumers.
In conclusion, both Amazon and Walmart are the leading retail stores in the USA. While Amazon is more online oriented, Walmart has more physical stores. Both stores are competitive and have the best customer service experience and excellent customer interactions in their digital platforms. However, when it comes to both customer service and digital interactions, Amazon is the best. Walmart is a viable alternative that may catch up with Amazon in the next five years or less. Since it has a larger capacity, its strides towards digitalization will enable it beat Amazon.
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Heller, L., 2018. 7 ways Walmart is innovating with technology. [online] Retail Dive. Available at: https://www.retaildive.com/news/7-ways-walmart-is-innovating-with-technology/525154/ [Accessed 24 April 2021].
Hyken, S., 2016. Walmart Creates Training Academies To Improve Customer Service. [online] Forbes. Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/shephyken/2016/03/12/walmart-creates-training-academies-to-improve-customer-service/?sh=676ac4442c57> [Accessed 24 April 2021].
Morgan, B., 2019. 7 Ways Amazon and Walmart Compete -A Look At The Numbers. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2019/08/21/amazon-versus-walmart-goliath-versus-goliath/?sh=7c04cafe4674 [Accessed 24 April 2021].
Serrano, S., 2019. What Amazon Teaches us About Omnichannel Strategy in 2019. [online] Barilliance. Available at: https://www.barilliance.com/amazon-omnichannel-strategy/ [Accessed 24 April 2021].
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