While online price transparency has increased competition between Walmart and Amazon, Walmart has maintained its price leadership position, according to the second-annual basket pricing study from Boston-based Kantar Retail.
The study, which was conducted in May, examined how the two retailers compete on price through a basket analysis, comparing a Walmart Supercenter, Walmart.com and Amazon. Interestingly, the researchers found that Walmart.com’s basket was 8 percent more expensive than a Walmart Supercenter. Edible grocery and general merchandise were the most expensive, while HBA was in parity with the supercenter. Notably, items across baskets were not on Rollbacks at either Walmart venue.
Kantar's ShopperScape also revealed that Walmart shared half (51 percent) of its past-four-week shoppers with Amazon, and Walmart shoppers are twice as likely to frequent Amazon (19 percent) on a weekly basis than Walmart.com (9 percent).
"Historically, Walmart's stores have asserted price leadership, but today's online pricing dynamics create a new level of competition between the two," noted Anne Zybowski, VP with Kantar Retail and contributor to the study.
Amazon's basket was 16 percent more expensive than the supercenter's. Edible and non-edible grocery sub-baskets were the largest contributors to the high cost of the Amazon basket. Compared to the supercenter, the edible grocery basket was 35 percent higher at Amazon, while the non-edible grocery basket was 11 percent higher.
Meanwhile, Amazon's basket was 7 percent more expensive than Walmart.com. Amazon's most competitive offer was in the general merchandise sub-basket. Higher third-party pricing greatly contributed to Amazon’s more expensive basket.
"Amazon is not the price leader online, nor does it want to be," Zybowski said. "The results of our study reinforce the importance of Amazon's price-matching policy to maintain shoppers' trust in the Amazon value proposition—low prices on vast selection and fast delivery."
Kantar Retail's study examined pricing information collected in a single day over an eight-hour period. The basket totaled 59 nationally branded items in four categories: edible grocery, non-edible grocery, HBA and general merchandise. Basket contents were selected to represent a diverse mix of categories and purchase options available to shoppers.