I think Amazon will outdo Walmart in every way possible. Though when it comes to retail stores (physical) Walmart would continue to do better than Amazon for years to come, but eventually would lose a big proportion of its market share to Amazon.
While Walmart is already established as a brick-and-mortar store, it is still trying to catch up to the giant Amazon when it comes to e-commerce. On the other hand, instead of trying to catch up to Walmart, Amazon is trying to revolutionize the way we buy things by testing experimental initiatives like Amazon Go (which ditches the lines. Customers can just go in, get the items they want and walk off), etc. They are more willing to disrupt the way people buy things and are more forward thinking. They keep re-inventing themselves following the lines of Jeff Bezos “What’s dangerous is to not evolve”Amazon is already ahead of Walmart when it comes to Big-Data and dominates the cloud with Amazon Web Services. It is not shy of trying non-conventional ways like AI based drone-delivery, Amazon Go, Smart Home integration with Alexa, etc.
Both companies though have a similar goal of being able to sell everything everywhere, it is their approach what would determine the company which would finally sit on the throne. Why would Walmart fail to keep up with the Amazon’s model?The Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com, Shoebuy and other e-commerce companies would provide enough technology to Walmart to stay alive and sustain in the Amazon dominated e-commerce or perhaps share the market but when it comes to the brink-and-mortar retail, Amazon is trying to disrupt the way people shop. They are utilizing their advanced technology like computer vision, deep learning algorithms, sensor fusion, just walk out technology to pave ways for the futuristic grocery shopping – Amazon Go.
If it succeeds, it would leave Walmart years behind. Even if Walmart try to outsource these operations to giants like IBM or Microsoft, it would be very difficult to integrate the same with their existing business models. In short, while trying to get a market share or dominance in e-commerce, Walmart can instead lose their grounds of physical stores to the Amazon. There is a lot Walmart can learn from Amazon, and they have been doing it right with the course of acquisitions – Jet.com, Shoebuy, Modcloth, MosseJaw. They have penetrated almost all the sectors of e-commerce and have utilized their physical stores as a mean to provide additional services like pick-up from the nearest stores at reduced prices, etc. They have also targeted Smart Home services of Amazon’s Alexa with their partnership with Google using Google Home.
But the biggest learning would be to re-invent the business apart from catching up with the competitors. Amazon has also identified that the future is neither in offline store or the online retail, but an amalgam of both. It’s acquisition of Whole Foods strengthens its position in the Walmart dominated brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon would need to make a series of strategical acquisitions to position itself at the door of the untouched population of United States who prefer to go to the stores, touch the articles and try them, before making a purchase decision.