Analysts say Walmart’s marketing efforts take direct aim at rival Amazon, which tends to own online shopper demand on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2021, Amazon’s revenue numbers increased despite a drop in overall e-commerce spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, compared to 2020.
“Walmart is looking to grow its overall retail market share through e-commerce,” said Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst for retail and e-commerce at Intelligence Insider. Lipsman said with this new ad, “Walmart is trying to encourage people, presumably, who have been shopping at Walmart offline or in-stores for the holiday weekends to keep shopping on Walmart.com on Monday.”
The company said growth on Walmart.com is “improving,” including on the marketplace, during its second-quarter earnings call. Walmart’s membership subscription program Walmart+ has an estimated 16 million subscribers. “Total accounts are up about 9% over last year, and the penetration of plus members continues to climb,” Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon said on the earnings call.
Typically, Lipsman said, the Monday after Black Friday belongs to Amazon. Black Friday is an offline holiday and it’s a big online shopping game too. “Black Friday is Walmart’s day and Cyber Monday is Amazon’s day,” said Lipsman. “But with this latest communication Walmart is trying to lean into Cyber Monday,” he added.
“Mondays in general in the holiday season are by far the heaviest spending days of the week online. There’s always a Monday spike, relatively speaking. And actually, it’s not just Cyber Monday, but the next two Mondays are also really heavy spending days. Walmart is really trying to take a bite out of Mondays for e-commerce,” Lipsman added.
Last year, Cyber Monday saw consumer spending of $10.7 billion, a drop of 1.4% from 2020 but still counted as the biggest online shopping day of the year, Intelligence Insider data showed. According to Adobe, this year’s Black Friday online sales are estimated to rise just 1% over last year while Cyber Monday sales are predicted to grow 5.1%. The Monday following Thanksgiving has developed into being the crucial beginning of the online Christmas shopping season due to the rapid growth of online shopping over the years.
The fight for online shoppers between Walmart and Amazon overlaps with Walmart’s efforts to beef up its advertising business. The retailer is playing catch up to the booming ad business of its arch-rival after it recently announced plans to integrate social media platforms like TikTok and Snap into its ad tech platform.
Walmart’s strategy is to try to capture new customers at a faster pace. The retailer in a very aggressive promotion for the holidays also cut the cost of Walmart+ memberships in half.
“There’s customers on the fence that Walmart and Amazon compete with and there’s likely more churn for Amazon Prime when Walmart lowers their price,” said Jason Goldberg, chief commerce officer at Publicis told Modern Retail.