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Study Analyzes Online Baskets of Amazon vs. Walmart

A two-month study, comparing a basket of grocery/household items spanning a number of CPG brands with a non-grocery basket (such as toys, electronics and tools) shopped on and, provides a look at how the giants are battling each other in eCommerce.

Here are some of the key takeaways from a study from 360i that took place April 9-June 9, 2015: 

Gap between Amazon and Walmart Widens Slightly: Walmart’s grocery basket at first was much more competitive with Amazon than its non-grocery basket, with a very narrow gap maintained between the two retailers. Walmart’s average price even dipped marginally below Amazon in the middle of April. However, in the beginning of May, this situation began to change with the grocery basket price consistently 4-6 percent higher than Amazon. The non-grocery basket, on the other hand, became more competitive with Amazon, narrowing the price gap to 2-4 percent. 

Price Dynamism Low in Grocery: According to the analysis, the grocery basket was much less price-dynamic than the non-grocery at both Amazon and Walmart, with the difference being more pronounced at Amazon. At this time, it is unclear whether these retailers are planning to keep a more “everyday low price” strategy to gain trust among online grocery shoppers, or whether the price dynamism will ramp up in accordance with category maturity. 

Amazon’s Price Volatility Significantly Less Than Walmart’s:  Even though Amazon made a significant number of price changes in the non-grocery basket, the price changes were insignificant. The average price only had a 2 percent and 3 percent swing, respectively, in the grocery and non-grocery baskets during the sampled two-month period. This is consistent with 360pi's observations in many other categories over the 2014 holiday period. Walmart’s average price on both baskets fluctuated more dramatically over the same period with a 10 percent and 9 percent swing on the grocery and non-grocery baskets,k respectively. 

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