The Wall Street Journal reported in this article that Amazon is developing their brick-and-mortar business around the U.S. and the world, after becoming the top online e-commerce business in the world.
Wal-Mart – on the other hand – has done just the opposite. Wal-Mart has developed the largest and most successful brick-and-mortar business with their supercenters (and now grocery stores), and recently purchased JET.com and invested in Chinese marketplace JD.com.
It is only inevitable that these two major corporation will face off head-to-head. The bigger question is: Which company will come out on top?
Amazon’s newest plan is to open up relatively small retail stores (think convenient store size) that have interactive touch screens for ordering, or even pull up the product list with their mobile device. The groceries would then be delivered to the store or the customer’s home later that day.
Wal-Mart has recently rolled out their version of this service with their grocery pick-up service. Customers log into the Wal-Mart website and select their groceries. At a later time that day, the customer drives up to the grocery pick up area, and picks up their groceries. A Wal-Mart employee walks the groceries out to the vehicle, and that is it.
Both companies recognize that consumer trends are growing online, and that is why Amazon may have a slight advantage over Wal-Mart in that they have already proved to be the #1 online retailer in the world. However, Wal-Mart could have their own competitive advantage in that they already have the warehouses and supercenters in place (with a very good selection of goods), and they are using their low-cost model to deliver products conveniently to consumers at pick up.
The competition is growing each day, and it will be exciting to see what happens next between these two retail giants.