Culture

Walmart Takes the Fight to Amazon for Online Shopping Customers

Laila Ummelaila, a personal shopper at the Walmart store in Old Bridge, N.J., pushes a cart with bins as she shops for online shoppers. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

While Amazon seems unbeatable when it comes to online shopping, Walmart is working hard to catch up, knowing we’ll be doing more of our shopping from the comfort of our homes. So how do the two companies compare?

We looked at some items the staff had recently purchased to get some idea. While this is not close to a comprehensive survey that would include thousands of comparisons, it’s enough to draw some conclusions.

Here’s what we found. Unless noted, prices include free shipping from both companies and assume you have an Amazon Prime account that recently increased from $100 to $120 per year.

  • Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Swing is $26.88 on Amazon and $26.88 on Walmart.com. However, a few days ago when one of our editors purchased the item, it was only $21.21 on Walmart.com.
  • Party Essentials Plastic Banquet Table Roll, 40″ x 100′, Royal Blue costs $18.76 on Amazon and $15.29 on Walmart.com.
  • 50 Teal Paper Place Mats Scalloped Edge 10×14 is $6.99 plus $6.65 for shipping from Amazon. At Walmart it’s $3.63 plus $5.99 for shipping, but you can avoid the shipping cost by having it shipped to your local Walmart store for pickup.
  • An empty 20-lb Propane Tank costs $47.77 from Amazon and $43.28 from Walmart, shipping included.
  • A six-pack of Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape, 3″ Core, 1.88″ x 54.6 Yards, costs $23.44 on Amazon and $23.55 at Walmart.
  • Gillette Mach3 Men’s Razor Blade Refills, 15 Men’s Razors/Blades costs $18.36 on Amazon and $25.97 at Walmart
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum SPF 85, 3 oz. costs $8.13 at Amazon and $8.71 at Walmart.
  • Keter Unity XL Indoor Outdoor Entertainment BBQ Storage Table/Prep Station/Serving Cart with Metal Top, Brown costs $196.89 at Walmart and $213.38 at Amazon.

So, what’s the conclusion? Both Walmart and Amazon seem to be competitive based on a limited sample. And that’s not by accident. Each company uses bots to look at their competition and continually adjusts prices to stay competitive.

With Amazon increasing Prime membership to $119 per year, some may want to rethink the cost if they don’t take advantage of many of the perks. Walmart.com shoppers can avoid shipping charges by picking up their orders at a Walmart store and remain competitive with Amazon.

While Costco.com can’t compare to the inventory of these stores, it’s worth checking out for products they do carry. They stocked one of the items above, the Scotch packaging tape that Amazon and Walmart were selling for more than $23. Their price was just $16.49! As long as you shop from home it takes little effort to spend a few more minutes to compare prices.