Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) decided a couple of years ago that it would not simply roll over and get slaughtered by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). The Arkansas-based company has poured money into its online efforts ever since and had managed to gain some ground.
But what about Walmart’s low-price pledge? Is it still the low-price leader? And if it is, how well can it compete with Amazon? Which retailer has the best prices?
Leaving aside shipping costs, which can be free for Amazon Prime members, and free on some 2 million items and orders of more than $35 for Walmart customers, researchers at LendEDU looked at the products the companies sell and the prices they charge for them.
The researchers compared a list of 50 products in five categories: Home Goods, Kitchen/Home Appliances, Technology and Entertainment, Food & Beverages, and Miscellaneous Items. They then compared prices on identical brand items at each retailer. Comparisons were made at both companies’ online stores.
Overall, Walmart’s pricing was nearly 11% lower than Amazon’s on a cart full of all 50 items. Walmart was cheaper in four of the five categories. Here’s a quick look at how the two stores compared.
Home Goods: Walmart’s basket was 32.66% cheaper overall and beat Amazon pricing on nine of 10 items. The widest difference came on a 50-pack of Red Solo cups that cost $3.88 at Walmart and $9.00 at Amazon.
Kitchen/Home Appliances: Walmart’s total basket was 20.66% cheaper than Amazon’s and again was lower on nine of 10 items. The biggest disparity was seen in the price of a Dyson v6 Cordless Vacuum that cost $355 at Amazon and $175 at Walmart, a difference of 103%.
Technology and Entertainment: The overall difference was considerably smaller here. Walmart prices were 4.92% lower than Amazon’s on the 10-item basket. Amazon pricing was lower on five items and Walmart pricing was lower on five. The largest difference came in Beats by Dr. Dre Solo2 Black Luxe Edition Headphones that cost $129.99 at Amazon and $89.10 at Walmart. A JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth speaker showed the largest price difference favoring Amazon — $72.95 compared to $89.99 at Walmart.
Miscellaneous Items: Walmart beat Amazon by 16.3% on pricing a basket of 10 items, ranging from a hammer to 50-pack of mousetraps. The widest difference favoring Walmart was the price of a six-piece set of Stanley Vinyl-Grip Screwdrivers, costing $29.99 at Amazon and $17.47 at Walmart. Among the four items that were cheaper at Amazon, the biggest difference came on a 12-pack of Bic Retractable Gel-Pens, costing $6.98 at Amazon and $9.19 at Walmart.
Food and Beverages: Counterintuitively perhaps, Amazon’s price on a basket of 10 food and beverage items was 22.51% lower than Walmart’s price. All 10 items in the research basket were cheaper at Amazon, ranging from a 45.75% difference on Campbell’s Chunky Baked Potato Soup ($1.66 versus $3.06 at Walmart) to 6.85% on a 32-ounce package of Barilla Spaghetti Pasta ($2.99 versus $3.21 at Amazon).
In a similar comparison published last November, Costco pricing on a basket of identical items was 12.1% lower than Amazon’s pricing.
The LendEDU website has the full rundown of price comparisons between Amazon and Walmart, along with charts, tables and more discussion.