Amazon And Walmart Slug It Out For Retail Supremacy As Pandemic Boosts Sales For Both Giants

In 2020, the pandemic provided a powerful sales boost for both of retail’s two biggest companies. Walmart’s WMT +0.9% annual revenue last year rose 6.7% to $559.15 billion. It was the fastest top line growth in 12 years, and kept the Bentonville, Ark.-based behemoth in first place among the entire Global 2000 for total sales.

The surge was even stronger for Amazon.com AMZN +1.9%, which saw sales soar 37.6% to $386.06 billion in 2020, the second highest of any Global 2000 company on this year’s list. The jump was Seattle-based Amazon’s biggest year-over-year percentage revenue increase since 2011.

Walmart for now has the highest sales of any company in the Global 2000, but Amazon, currently ranked second, should overtake Walmart in revenue by the end of next year, according to analysts’ forecasts. Amazon’s overall Global 2000 ranking is already ahead of Walmart’s (No. 10 vs. No 18), and one three of the four criteria considered for company size: profits (No. 16 vs. No. 34); assets (No. 129 vs. No. 160); and market value (No. 4 vs. No. 17).

Thanks to buoyancy in its stock price, Amazon in 2020 became a trillion-dollar company by market capitalization. Amazon shares gained 41% for the year ending April 16, more than five times Walmart’s 8% return, and its $1.71 trillion market value is more than quadruple Walmart’s $396 billion.

The two titans of retail often battle to win business from the other, like in the lucrative grocery business, where Walmart enjoys a nearly 20% market share compared to 2% for Amazon, which owns the Whole Foods WFM 0.0% grocery chain. Walmart’s lead is under assault from Amazon and from local grocery stores using services like Instacart to leaning more heavily into online sales.

One initiative literally bearing fruit for Amazon is its growing number of Amazon Fresh AMZN +1.9% locations set up to peddle perishable products to grocery shoppers in a brick-and-mortar store. Walmart for its part is not standing still and expanding its presence in the online channel where sales surged 79% last year.

The third biggest retailer in the Global 2000 is China’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which outranks both Amazon and Walmart in terms of profit, and whose market value of $658 billion exceeds that of Walmart. Overall, it’s the 23rd biggest company in the Global 2000. Although Alibaba is the heavyweight of online commerce in China, competition is fierce with rivals like JD.com, the world’s sixth biggest retailer with an overall rank in 2021 of No. 101, up sharply from No. 238 last year.

Business was brisk in 2020 for home improvement retailers, as both Home Depot HD -0.6% and Lowe’s moved up in overall ranking. The pandemic also helped to propel some new names from the retail world into the Global 2000, including Williams-Sonoma WSM +2.5% (No. 1319), Dick’s Sporting Goods DKS +3.4% (No. 1848), and Big Lots BIG +3.5% (No. 1848).

I am the deputy editor of investing content for Forbes Media. I’m responsible for money and investing coverage on Forbes.com and in Forbes magazine. As editor of the Forbes Dividend Investor newsletter service, I send out two dividend stock recommendations per week and send out weekly updates with the best 25 current buys. I’m also a Senior Editor for Forbes Newsletter Group, including its virtual events business, Forbes iConferences. Prior to joining the company, I spent five years with CNN Financial News working with Lou Dobbs, where I produced long-form pieces and reported on management, entrepreneurship and financial markets. I’ve also worked for Bloomberg TV and Inc. Magazine.

Source: Amazon And Walmart Slug It Out For Retail Supremacy As Pandemic Boosts Sales For Both Giants

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Walmart’s Interest In TikTok’s Ad Business Shows Its Ambitions To Take On Amazon

After Oracle confirmed reports that it won a bid to partner on TikTok’s US business, Walmart said it remains interested in a joint deal to buy TikTok’s US business, which has been under intense scrutiny from the Trump administration. Walmart and Microsoft view the possible acquisition as a way to compete against e-commerce giant Amazon. Walmart cited TikTok’s small but growing ad business as part of the reason why it’s interested in TikTok.

“The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets,” Walmart said earlier in a statement to Business Insider. “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”

It’s not clear how much of an impact TikTok would have on Walmart’s advertising business, but the hot video app has been making inroads with big ad agencies and brands that want to reach its lucrative Gen Z audience. TikTok also recently launched a self-serve ad platform, which could in theory help Walmart attract a new group of advertisers outside of its core consumer-packaged-goods advertisers.

Walmart declined to comment further on both its bid with Microsoft to acquire TikTok and its advertising business.

Walmart has made a big push into advertising over the past year, poaching talent from large media companies and agencies. After splitting from longtime agency Triad, Walmart has been building an ad business in-house that rivals Amazon’s growing ad business by selling ads to consumer-packaged-goods brands and others that place ads on Walmart’s app and website.

Business Insider recently spoke with five e-commerce agencies and adtech companies about how Walmart’s ad business stacks up against Amazon. They said that while Walmart is ramping up its advertising business, it’s significantly smaller and less sophisticated than Amazon’s.

Curtis Rummel, lead client strategist at e-commerce agency Marketplace Strategy, estimated that clients put 5% to 10% of the budgets that are spent advertising on Amazon with advertising on Walmart. He added that Walmart pitches its advertising business as the company starting from scratch with limited features, even though Walmart had its advertising business Walmart Media Group for years through the now-defunct, WPP-owned ad agency Triad Retail.

“It’s probably not going to be a huge 2020 opportunity but it will probably be 2021 or 2022 when we start to see it pick up pace,” he said.

Advertisers say that they want similar measurement on Walmart and Amazon

In January, Walmart formally launched a self-serve ad platform and API that lets advertisers and a small group of adtech companies buy and manage campaigns on their own. In July, Walmart rolled out a measurement tool that tracks how online ads drive in-store and e-commerce sales.

Rummel said that Amazon’s reporting tools are limited and built using old software, which could give Walmart an opportunity to provide better tools to advertisers…..

Source:: Business Insider

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Walmart Beats Q1 Earnings Forecast, Misses on Revenues; E-Commerce Sales Surge

Walmart Inc. (WMTGet Report) posted much stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Thursday as same-store sales in the United States beat expectations amid a renewed push in the retailer’s e-commerce division.

Walmart said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in April, the retailer’s fiscal first quarter for the 2020 financial year, came in at $1.13 per share, well ahead of the $1.02 forecast. Reported earnings rose 84.7% from last year to $1.33 per share, reflecting a 20 cents per share gain from the group’s holding in China-based online retailer JD.com (JDGet Report) .

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Group revenues, Walmart said, rose 1% to $123.925 billion, missing analysts’ forecast of $124.51 billion, as currency moves clipped the topline. Excluding currency impacts, Walmart said, revenues rose 2.5% to $125.8 billion, but the company cautioned currency moves would hit sales by around $1 billion over the current quarter.

“We’re changing to enable more innovation, speed and productivity, and we’re seeing it in our results,” said CEO Doug McMillon. “We’re especially pleased with the combination of comparable sales growth from stores and eCommerce in the U.S. Our team is demonstrating an ability to serve customers today while building new capabilities for the future, and I want to thank them for a strong start to the year.”

Walmart shares were marked 3.7% higher following the earnings release at $103.59 each, a move that would extend the stock’s year-to-date advance to around 11%.

U.S. same-store sales rose 3.4%, Walmart said, with net sales hitting $80.3 billion while e-commerce revenues surged 37%, although that growth rate slowed from 43% over the Christmas holiday quarter. International sales, however, fell 4.9% to $28.8 billion. Sam’s Club revenues rose 1.5% to $13.8 billion.

Earlier this week, Walmart said  it will launch a free, next-day delivery service to challenge its online rival Amazon Inc.  (AMZNGet Report) as retailers step-up their efforts to cater to changing consumption patterns in the world’s biggest economy.

Walmart’s NextDay delivery service will apply to around 220,000 frequently-purchased items on the Walmart.com website, the company said, and will be offered without a membership on all orders over $35. The new service will launch in Phoenix and Las Vegas, Walmart said, before expanding to Southern California in the coming days and around 75% of the broader U.S. population, including 40 of the top 50 major metro areas, by the end of the year.

Walmart’s move follows a similar offering from Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, which shifted to one-day from two-day delivery for its Prime members last month — who pay $119 per year for the loyalty club membership — with a strategy it said will cost $800 million over its fiscal second quarter.

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Source: Walmart Beats Q1 Earnings Forecast, Misses on Revenues; E-Commerce Sales Surge

 

Amazon Reportedly Has a Warning for Sellers Who Offer Products on Walmart.com for a Lower Price

It’s not really a surprise that Amazon wants to offer customers the overall lowest prices on the products it sells in order to capture more sales. And it has created an incredible marketplace for third-party sellers to grow and thrive. But that’s not the entire story. It turns out that the company could also be keeping a close eye on companies that also sell their products at other sites, such as Walmart.com.

That’s according to a recent report by Bloomberg that says that when Amazon finds Marketplace sellers that offer the same product elsewhere for less than the price on Amazon’s site, the company sends those sellers a warning “via a web platform they use to manage their Amazon businesses” and often makes it harder to find the product on its own site. Effectively, the message is: Raise your prices, or else.

Really, there are two aspects of this story that are worth paying attention to.

Play by the rules.

The first is the amount of control that Amazon exerts over its sellers. The company has policies that even dictate how third-party sellers should design the packaging for their products. It also determines how products are displayed and how easily they are found by customers.

Additionally, Amazon runs the third-largest advertising platform, which many sellers find themselves resigned to pay for, lest their products go unnoticed.

Ultimately, Amazon’s would likely prefer sellers to lower their price on its site, however many sellers tell Bloomberg that they have been hit by so many fee increases that the only real course of action is to raise prices elsewhere.

In fact, those same sellers report that when you include advertising, Amazon takes as much as 40 percent of every marketplace sale on the site.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to my request for a comment, but according to Bloomberg, a spokesperson said in a statement that “sellers have full control of their own prices both on and off Amazon, and we help them maximize their sales in our store by providing them insights on how to be the featured offer.”

That isn’t exactly a denial that it sends the warning.

I think it also takes a little liberty with the meaning of “help them maximize their sales,” especially if “providing them insights” really means “make sure your prices aren’t lower anywhere else.”

The risk of building on someone else’s platform.

The second lesson here is about the risk of building your business on someone else’s platform. The two happen to be more closely related than they might seem.

When your business is selling products online, Amazon certainly has one of the most desirable platforms, considering its vast reach. It makes sense, then, that a business would want to make its products available to as many people as possible. That’s why many sellers list products on a variety of sites like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

But at what cost?

If you build a business on someone else’s platform, you allow them to exert considerable control, since you have to be willing to put up with the rules and policies created by that platform. Those rules could change at any time, and your only real option is to change your business or leave. Often, neither is ideal.

As an entrepreneur, it can be tempting to make decisions that help you greatly as you grow, but you should consider what effect those choices will have down the road. Are you able to run your business the way you want, or will you be at the mercy of another company that makes the rules with its own interests first?

Pay close attention to those rules. After all, the one who made them is probably paying close attention to you.

 

By: Jason AtenWriter and business coach @jasonaten

Source: Amazon Reportedly Has a Warning for Sellers Who Offer Products on Walmart.com for a Lower Price

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Even In The iPhone Age, Funko’s Fast-Moving Toy Business Is Thriving

The first day of New York Comic Con is usually relatively quiet, but today the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is jam-packed, and Brian Mariotti, the CEO of Funko, has to shout. Mariotti is in town to preside over Funko’s 2,500-square-foot booth, a pop-up store selling limited-edition licensed character figures and collectibles. Workers in Funko T-shirts restock shelves while a long line of Funko fans wait behind crowd barriers. On the other side of the ropes, Mariotti shows off the list of items that have already sold out. The creepy twin girls from The Shining went quickest, followed by an orange-chrome-colored Batman and a Notorious B.I.G. with a crown………

Source: Even In The iPhone Age, Funko’s Fast-Moving Toy Business Is Thriving

Walmart Pre-Black Friday 2018: Apple iPad Mini 4 Gets A Steep Price Cut – Madeline Kaufman

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There have been plenty of Pre-Black Friday sales happening since November 1, but few have included coveted Apple products like this Apple iPad Mini. An essential, big-ticket item on many people’s wish list, there are a few times when the stars align just so perfectly that Walmart provides this kind of deal: $125 off a new iPad Mini 4. That’s a more than 30 percent price reduction on this must-have item for travelers, entertainment junkies and really anyone else who wants the power of just about everything a computer can do– from document editing to video streaming– at their fingertips…………..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-finds/2018/11/08/walmart-pre-black-friday-2018-apple-ipad-mini-4-gets-a-steep-price-cut/#72abaf913139

 

 

 

 

 

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Walmart Pay finally rolls out | Pockentow — Patrick Bouillaud Blog , L’univers du Cloud et du Digital

Instead of going the Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay route, Walmart Pay has decided to make things “easier” by making them complicated. Sourced through Scoop.it from: pocketnow.com

via Walmart Pay finally rolls out | Pockentow — Patrick Bouillaud Blog , L’univers du Cloud et du Digital