There’s a big war a brewin’ between Amazon and Wal-Mart. Supposedly, it’s a holiday season price skirmish, but really it’s a war for the future of shopping.
Amazon, whose sales are a fraction of Wal-Mart’s, owns the online shopping space. Walmart.com is growing faster than Amazon, but those are just statistics, which we know can lie. This shopping war is between online and offline. Currently, online shopping accounts for about 4% of all sales, but some projection see it moving as high as 15%.
You know who loves to shop online? Single, twenty 20 and 30 year olds –especially the ones who are kicking ass in their jobs. In a brief recently, I called this target “Power-Ups.” They’re achievers, very wired, and have big careers in their sights. After work, Power-Ups like to come home to someone…but the someone they come home to every night is often a box from Amazon. “Honey, I’m home!” This target will marry and marry well, and in addition to being conditioned to buy online, they will buy high margin products. A value target to be sure.
Amazon knows this. Jeff Bezos knows this. When these 20 and 30 years olds become 40 and 50 year olds, they’ll still be loyal customers and have passed on the Amazon online shopping gene to their progeny.
Wal-Mart can plan all they want, but in my mind they won’t be able to be a leader in both online shopping and offline shopping. You can’t be black and white. Very, very interesting. Don’t be surprised if Wal-Mart starts sniffing around Amazon with checkbook in hand.