Amazon vs. Walmart: What The Numbers Tell Us

There has been no shortage of stories over the years about the rivalry between online titan Amazon vs Walmart, brick and mortar retail giant.
The fight for share of market between these two companies has been intense and heated at times, with Walmart recently pledging billions of its dollars in an effort to play catch-up, and with Amazon announcing in November that it would open a brick and mortar bookstore.

In this ongoing war, there’s no more important battleground than the holiday season, with billions of dollars up for grabs each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Glancing at the online shopping statistics for late 2015, it’s easy to assume that Walmart is leading the way. After all, Walmart’s numbers top those of Amazon by a decent margin. But a closer look reveals that Walmart’s holiday sales show only a slight increase (and aren’t even as high as the company’s February 2015 sales), while Amazon sees a sharp, but sustained spike in spend per shopper over the entire holiday season. In fact, it’s now been revealed that Walmart was crushed by Target in holiday 2015 sales, something once unthinkable. Some analysts are even suggesting that Walmart simply isn’t throwing enough weight behind its e-commerce efforts, and it’s showing the numbers.

So, how much did Walmart cede to Amazon during the holidays? Consider the fact that the online spend-per-shopper for Walmart flatlines at just $364 in November and December. Amazon, on the other hand, spiked a full 16 percent in November and 33 percent in December.

Despite Walmart’s increased efforts to compete in the e-commerce, online sales realm, it seems unlikely the company will be beating Amazon in the holiday sales games anytime soon. Amazon’s disruptive approach to shopping, combined with its Prime shipping options and no-hassle return policies virtually ensure Jeff Bezos’ company will continue to dominate the holiday landscape for years to come.