Walmart Seeks To Disrupt Amazon’s Prime Day With Blowout Sale

By combining online discounts with the unique retail experience provided by physical stores, Walmart aims to compete with Amazon’s ‘July Black Friday’ ecommerce offering.

Walmart will launch a massive sale on July 15th to combat Amazon’s Prime Day, combining massive online discounts with the unique advantages of the in-store retail experience in hopes of luring in shoppers and spiking sales.

With the “rival” sale, Walmart is taking aim at the idea that consumers should have to pay a subscription fee in order to score deals. Access to Prime Day — which Amazon is billing as a “blowout sale bigger than Black Friday” — requires a $99 per year Amazon Prime membership.

“We just don’t believe you should pay a fee to get a better price,” Walmart spokesperson Ravi Jariwala told USA Today.

The Walmart sale will feature more than 2,000 online exclusive “rollbacks” available to everyone, an attempt to draw in ecommerce-loving consumers. But since Walmart is unlikely to replace or supplant Amazon as an online powerhouse, its true advantage comes in the form of the one thing Amazon doesn’t have in spades: physical stores.

With over 90 percent of purchases still taking place in physical stores, in-store experience counts for a lot. Deals are always a draw — something Walmart is taking advantage of — but unique events and experiences are important as well.

Walmart already provides services like in-store navigation through its app to help simplify the shopping process. But in order to compete with Amazon, the chain would do well to bolster its existing sale efforts with even more personalization. From providing personal shoppers to hosting in-store meet and greets, the key is to offer events and services that customers can’t get online.

Walmart has explored online-to-offline world previously, using historical geo-data to target ads to on-the-go consumers and updating the in-store functions of its app. As a result, in-store traffic, which had fallen in 2014, is on the slow incline again, up 1 percent nationwide in Q1. Now, if the chain can strengthen its online “pop-up” sale with relevant in-store offerings, it could stand a chance to compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon after all.

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Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.