Put Amazon head to head with Google and Walmart, and it’s anyone’s guess who’d come out on top. And these leaders of the retail industry are doing just that. The threat of Amazon’s success and its moves into Google and Walmart territory are shaking up tech and retail in a big way.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is constantly evolving his company. Meanwhile, Google and Walmart made their marks many moons ago, believing it to be unlikely they would be threatened by some guy selling books on the internet.
That time has passed, and Amazon is encroaching on their territory. Only time will tell which of these heavy hitters will come out on top, but rest assured all the players in this game are out for blood. Here are seven ways the companies are trying to stay competitive.
Let’s start with Walmart, which recently teamed up with one of Amazon’s online rivals…
1. Walmart purchases Jet.com
In 2016, Walmart announced it would be purchasing Jet.com for $3.3 billion. Jet.com is an e-commerce business that launched in 2015. Similar to Amazon Prime’s model, Jet.com required a membership to shop its products, but that went out the door fairly quickly in hopes of boosting revenue in the long run.
So what’s the big idea with Walmart acquiring Jet.com? Well, both companies realized they weren’t going to stand a chance against Amazon’s e-commerce empire without collaboration. Although the price tag Walmart paid for Jet.com is startling to say the least, the brick-and-mortar giant believes it was a worthy purchase that will boost overall revenue and give Amazon a run for its money.
Amazon has its own plans, however. Its latest acquisition is actually stealing customers away from Walmart…
2. Whole Foods steals customers from Walmart
The results are in, and the rumors are true. Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods made a major splash in the grocery store world in 2017. When the transaction became official, Whole Foods prices were immediately slashed, and some of the products were cut by as much as 43%.
Thanks to smartphone users agreeing to share their location, Thasos Group analyzed over 30 million shoppers, tracking their patterns. Bloomberg reports the week Amazon took over Whole Foods saw a 33% increase in new shoppers to the grocery store. And 24% of those new shoppers were previous Walmart shoppers. That’s not good for the Walton family’s superstore.
One other area where Amazon is winning is with Alexa, its smart assistant. But Google poses a big threat…
3. Amazon Alexa versus Google Home
Amazon and Google’s voice recognition “smart assistants” seem to be penetrating homes all around the world. The real question is, “Which one is better?” According to a study from 360i, Google Home is six times more likely to correctly answer a question than Amazon Alexa. Strangely enough, Alexa is dominating the market share at 70%. How long Amazon’s good branding will keep Google in second place remains to be seen.
Google and Walmart are even working together to fight the Amazon juggernaut …
4. Walmart and Google partner up
The Waltons of Walmart are vividly aware of the competition in front of them — so much that they’ve partnered with Google. Google Express, the tech company’s shopping arm, is now offering Walmart’s products. This is a first for Walmart, as it has never sold its products anywhere besides its website and brick-and-mortar stores. Realizing the threat Amazon poses, Google and Walmart are doing everything they can to lure online shoppers away from Amazon.
What’s tough is combating the ease of shopping Amazon has created, not to mention the perks that come from being an Amazon Prime member. Walmart now offers a free-shipping model that mimics that of Amazon Prime, along with in-store pickup. But it would be a major defeat if Prime members jumped ship and headed over to Walmart.
In the meantime, Google is keeping YouTube content off of certain Amazon devices …
5. Google yanks YouTube from Amazon Echo Show
Things are getting real. In September 2017, Google made YouTube inaccessible on the Amazon Echo Show. The Echo Show is an Alexa-enabled smart speaker that also has a screen for users to enjoy access to videos, recipes, and more.
When Google was asked about the removal, it said, “Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience,” according to The Verge. Although Google says it hopes to reach some sort of agreement soon, it still remains to be seen.
As Google picks a fight with Amazon, Walmart is taking aim at Prime’s same-day delivery convenience …
6. Walmart purchases Parcel
If you don’t live in the New York City area, you probably don’t know much about Parcel. It’s a delivery company out of Brooklyn that delivers packages to its members based on what time the member wants it delivered. And Walmart announced in October 2017 it had purchased Parcel.
The acquisition on Walmart’s behalf comes from the strategic move to be able to supply customers with convenient and dependable delivery of its products. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out, considering Amazon Prime users in the New York area are able to place an order online and then head over to one of Amazon’s Instant Pickup locations to grab it.
Google recently launched its own rival to Amazon’s Echo Dot …
7. Google launches Home Mini to compete with Amazon Echo Dot
Google Home Mini is designed to go head to head with the Amazon Echo Dot. The Echo Dot is the second generation of the company’s original Echo speaker, which came in a much larger size. The Dot works with Amazon’s Alexa voice-recognition software, selling at $49.99.
So Google announced its own version, strikingly similar to the Dot. The Home Mini works directly with Google Assistant and is available for $49, as well. From a consumer perspective, it will be one or the other when it comes to this smarthome technology. It will be interesting to see where the chips fall.
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