business news in context, analysis with attitude

Business Insider has a story about how “as Walmart and Amazon become fiercer competitors, they're starting to look more and more like each other. Walmart continues to move its business online as Amazon moves offline, and they're becoming the first two truly omnichannel retailers in the process. Walmart is still the indisputable leader offline as the largest retailer in the US — and possibly the world— by sales, while Amazon still dominates online.”
Two excerpts worth noting:

• “One of the most obvious recent examples is the development of in-home delivery programs. Walmart was first to the punch, launching its limited pilot program with August Home in September. Then, in October, Amazon leapfrogged it with a nationwide rollout of its own program, which it called Amazon Key.
Though it's unclear who started developing the ideas first, the fact remains that both retailers were working on what amounted to the same service at exactly the same time.”

• “A good example of this is grocery pickup. Both retailers offer this, but Amazon currently only has two locations (both in Seattle) where customers can do it, while Walmart has opened more than 1,100 of them. While Walmart has gotten grocery logistics down to a science, Amazon has traditionally struggled with it, at least prior to its acquisition of Whole Foods.”

You can read the story here.
KC's View:
This is the third of the three stories that I referred to above, pointing to the realities of the Amazon-Walmart/Jet competition. The thing to keep in mind is that this competition does not happen in a vacuum. It creates challenges for everybody else, but also opportunities for companies that can identify and implement differential advantages.