Amazon, Walmart Gear Up for Summer E-Commerce Throwdown


It's summer, and Walmart and Amazon are celebrating by escalating their e-commerce competition.

Amazon on Thursday announced it would hold its second annual Prime Day on July 12. A shopping day for Amazon Prime members worldwide, it is billed as the biggest global Amazon event ever. The company will offer more than 100,000 bargains, with new deals popping up at five minute intervals throughout the day.

Last year's Prime Day was a bigger day for sales than the biggest Black Friday ever, up to that point, Amazon pointed out.

"We have dramatically increased the inventory behind many deals," said Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime. "In fact, in the U.S. we have nearly double the TV units compared to Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined," he said.

Amazon will offer deals in advance of July 12, noted Katherine Wilson, director of marketing insights for Clavis Insight.

E-commerce mega-sales events in the past have stretched into weeks or even months, she told the E-Commerce Times.

The company's countdown deals -- slated for July 5 through July 11 -- will include summer entertainment deals, mobile gadgets, travel products, and gear targeting foodies and outdoor living enthusiasts, the company said.

Walmart on Wednesday announced a 30-day free trial of the company's ShippingPass unlimited two-day shipping program -- likely a bid to steal some of the thunder -- and sales -- from Amazon's Prime Day.

Walmart's free trial is an extension of the two-day ShippingPass pilot program it offered earlier this year for a US$49 annual fee. That marked an improvement over the program's three-day shipping service that launched last year for a dollar more.

"Reaction from new and existing customers has been fantastic, though we can't share figures," said Walmart spokesperson Bao Nguyen.

"It's still early in the ShippingPass program, and we'll continue to test and evolve the pilot to best serve our customers," he told the E-Commerce Times. "This free 30-day trial is part of that."

Walmart's development of ShippingPass is "based on research that customers want a low-priced, unlimited free shipping program that's fast and reliable," Nguyen said. "We're learning a lot from customers during the pilot."

The program's flexibility and low cost resonate most with customers who are "shopping on more often to take advantage of our low prices -- especially popular pantry and household items like ketchup, paper towels and dishwasher detergent," Nguyen noted.

"However, that convenience has to deliver on the brand promise of what a customer wants and needs," she told the E-Commerce Times.

Walmart's ability to provide outstanding customer experiences through ShippingPass "will determine whether the free trial will garner loyal, repeat customers away from Amazon," Petouhoff observed.

Habits take about 21 days to form, so "the 30-day trial may be just enough time," she noted, but "perhaps 60 days would have been a better time frame. As always, the devil is in the details."

In related news, Nielsen on Wednesday announced the U.S. launch of Brandbank -- which provides trusted digital product content for e-commerce websites, mobile shopping apps, merchandising, and marketing -- and its immediate integration into Walmart's API.

Brandbank will capture, manage and distribute product content on behalf of manufacturers, adhering to Walmart's specific requirements.

That will help Walmart implement its omnichannel product content strategy and help build out its online catalog.

Walmart also has launched pilot programs to make deliveries via Uber, Lyft and Deliv.

It will offer grocery deliveries in Phoenix through Uber and in Denver through Lyft beginning in July. Walmart-owned Sam's Club earlier this year launched a pilot program to deliver general merchandise and groceries to businesses in Miami through Deliv.

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Captcha image


  • 5300c769af79e

    JetBlue Hands Out Free WiFi Now on All Flights

    There are few things worse on this planet than WiFi on an airplane.We’re talking about $40 to fly from one coast to the other for a connection that couldn’t even handle a refresh of Google+.
  • 5300c769af79e

    The Show: Episode 126 - Google's Other New Goodies

    On this episode of the Droid Life Show, we’re catching up on two weeks worth of news, but we’ll focus a lot of time on Google Home and Daydream View, since both are available from Google.After, we’ll talk Nougat updates, Galaxy S8 rumors, OnePlus’ new phone, where our V20 review is, the Huawei Mate 9, and more!
  • 5300c769af79e

    FCC Limits Broadband Subsidies, Abandons Prison Call Caps

    The ISPs had been granted permission to become Lifeline providers less than two months ago, a designation that offers their customers a $9.25-per-month discount on their broadband services.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Apple Watch Price Cut To $49 At Best Buy

    This session will provide you with best practices for introducing analytics concepts to the busine Customers who buy an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus from Best Buy will be able to score an Apple Watch for just $49.In March, Apple trimmed the price another $50, making the 38mm Apple Watch Sport just $299.