Getting in a shipping war with e-commerce behemoth Amazon is generally seen as a fool’s game. But Walmart is the one retailer who actually might be able to win that war.
Walmart and Amazon have been upping the ante on each other in their bids to offer the fastest deliveries, causing analysts to predict the war will end badly for Walmart.
Neither side shows any sign of backing down – and from the jabs on their Twitter accounts, it is clear this fight is personal.
Amazon announced on April 25 that it would spend $800 million to make one-day shipping standard for Prime member deliveries. Walmart today said it is ready to roll out next-day delivery in three states and will be able to offer it to 75% of U.S. consumers by the end of this year.
Retail watchers are predicting the shipping wars will end in a pyrrhic victory, after insane amounts of delivery escalation, from drone drop-offs to delivery vans parked outside every door waiting to instantly fill orders. Walmart, the argument goes, can’t win if Amazon sets the agenda with new offerings and Walmart blindly rushes to keep pace.
Here are some reasons Amazon may be more worried about Walmart than the other way around:
• Walmart has the infrastructure it needs in place and Amazon is still building it. While Amazon continues to look for locations for new fulfillment centers, 90% of Americans already live within 10 miles of a Walmart store.
• It is hard to say who is chasing, and who is playing catch-up. Walmart e-commerce CEO Marc Lore told Business Insider that Walmart has been working on the move to next-day delivery for two years. While Amazon already offers one-day and one-hour deliveries on certain products in certain markets, it has not said when it will be ready to make one-day deliveries standard. Walmart executives already are looking ahead to what they call the real battle: same-day shipping.