Wal-Mart to compete against Amazon; are Wal-Mart Web Services next?

Wal-Mart to compete against Amazon; are Wal-Mart Web Services next?

Summary: Wal-Mart, the gigantic discount retail which is able to offer discounts via a well-orchestrated systems-based supply chain, announced it is launching an online marketplace featuring close to a million items from various sources.Speculation is that this is Wal-Mart's move to capture some of the success Amazon has seen in the online space.

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Wal-Mart, the gigantic discount retail which is able to offer discounts via a well-orchestrated systems-based supply chain, announced it is launching an online marketplace featuring close to a million items from various sources.

Speculation is that this is Wal-Mart's move to capture some of the success Amazon has seen in the online space. While the retail sector suffered through the recent economic downturn, Amazon blazed along with barely a hiccup.

Now, if Wal-Mart really wants to take on Amazon across the board, they should consider an entree into the cloud space, such as that dominated by Amazon Web Services. Amazon essentially took its vast array of IT assets built for its e-commerce operation and turned it into a shared offering for the business IT sector.

Will we eventually see Wal-Mart do the same with its massively expanding IT infrastructure? Wal-Mart Web Services, anyone? (This is a tongue-in-cheek speculation, sort of...)

Topics: Browser, Amazon, CXO, Cloud, Enterprise Software, Networking, Software

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7 comments
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  • Walmart vs Amazon

    If Walmart charges tax they will fail.
    utempire
  • greeeeat...

    Now around the holidays whenever a visitor to your website
    leaves, some popup ad will chase you around the web ringing
    a bell asking you to make a donation!
    darthstupid
  • Walmart Cannot Even Keep Its Site Up 24/7.

    I would not trust Walmart to run any sort of web services. I have noticed that Walmart's site is often "down for maintenance" late at night about 1am to 3am Pacific Time (something like that). Even smaller mom & pop shops do a better job with their up time than Walmart.

    Amazon, on the other hand, has been rock-solid (though they have seen denial-of-service attacks for sure).

    On the note about Amazon, I came across an interesting table that details the discounts on Amazon.

    It is at <a href="http://www.uberi.com">http://www.uberi.com</a>

    Maybe someone will find it useful too. While you are there, I would suggest checking out the "Amazon Filler Item" among other things there when you get a chance. It's quite amusing.
    John3k
    • Agreed. I had problems looking up information on it yesterday and

      ruled out the browser (Firefox, Safari, IE on the PC) as the cause.

      I wouldn't trust walmart with anything. They allow the sloppiest work for the least amount of money. No incentive. No quality. wal-mart.
      HypnoToad72
  • You Have Wal-Mart's Reason For Success All Wrong

    Wal-Mart is able to offer discounts via a well-orchestrated system of squeezing both their vendors and their employees until they have shaken loose from them every penny they can.

    Their "well-orchestrated systems-based supply chain" is a joke that fails to do anything except provide a constant source of frustration for their employees.
    sismoc
    • Well I disagree with you some of it...

      How can they squeeze vendors ??? Most of them sell their products else where, just in different packages.

      Example Vlassic Pickles, They were all fired up to be selling there pickles through Walmart, until someone figured out they were not making very much money.
      Their reason for the deal was they could not let their competition get in there. Well if your competition will not be making any money on the deal let them have it. In the long run it will ultimately put them out of business. Which is what Vlassic's competition was thinking.
      mrlinux
  • Can't import it from China

    Wal-Mart's main reason for success is that it imports huge amounts of inventory from China where wages are far lower, workplace safety standards are a lot more lax and environmental protection laws are almost non-existent.

    When an American with a product wants it sold in Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart's immediate reaction is, "Can you beat the China price?" Whatever the item is, Wal-Mart basically says, "If you want to sell it in our chain you have to produce it at the same cost we could buy it if it was produced in China." As a result, a lot of American companies wind up having the actual items produced in China. Their alternative is to not have their product in Wal-Mart AND have a competitor selling in Wal-Mart.

    Wal-Mart will not be able to outsource data centers, etc., to China. The IT quality just isn't there. Regarding other products, there is a fundamental difference between the average Wal-Mart shopper and the average person who will buy on Amazon. Wal-Mart offers almost no variety. Take furniture, for example. You can't get a bed, sofa, etc., in a range of 20 colors. If you're lucky, they will offer a particular item in two colors. Usually it is just one. Certain kinds of items, you want to see and feel, others you don't really care--a picture is good enough. Wal-Mart's main advantage aside from major importing is that because it does not offer choice it can buy massive quantities of a single item. That means inventory turnover is faster and the manufacturer has lower costs because it doesn't have to stock 20 colors, 10 headboard styles, etc. It doesn't have to train workers to make 15 different items. Its customers are willing to settle for lack of choice in exchange for lower prices.

    On the other hand, the type of person who will routinely buy from Amazon is much more likely to check out a variety of sites and look for exactly what they want. And once they have made the mental jump to buying on-line, they will take their business to a variety of vendors, not just Amazon.

    As for price, I had been kicking around whether to buy MS Office 2007 Home & Student ($149 list) when I started seeing it for $90-100. (I already have Office 2007 Pro on one machine.) CompUSA had a "deal" for $90--the lowest I had seen. Just for the heck of it I checked on-line and found Amazon had it for $70. Well, that made up my mind. Because of CompUSA's ad I wound up buying it ... from a different on-line vendor.

    Wal-Mart might have a major advantage in price for "one-stop shopping". But people don't buy low-dollar items on-line. When it comes to higher-priced and larger items, if they're going to get them on-line anyway, most people won't really care if they have to buy from 3-4 vendors instead of one if they can save $10-50 per item.
    Rick_R