Amazon Extends Home Goods Lead Over Walmart With Discounts

Amazon, eCommerce, retail

With mega-retailers Amazon and Walmart competing to secure consumers’ loyalty for high-ticket purchases such as furniture, the eCommerce giant is pulling further ahead by the quarter.

This trend can be seen in the latest data from the PYMNTS Intelligence “Whole Paycheck Report” series, which estimates each of the two retailers’ market share in various categories based on their earnings reports from Q1 2019 through Q4 2023 in conjunction with national data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

“Walmart holds significant clout in the furniture and home furnishings market, with 7.3% of sales,” the report noted, while cautioning that this sizable portion can “still pale in many respects to Amazon’s.”

In fact, Amazon holds nearly three times that share, capturing 18.8% of shoppers’ home furnishings spending. Plus, Amazon’s share is on the rise, more than double the 9% portion it held three years prior, while Walmart’s is on the decline, down from 10.9% in the same period.

Amid these rapid gains, Amazon is doing everything it can to drive up its share of spending in the category.

For instance, the company announced Thursday (March 14) that it is preparing to launch its first-ever “Big Spring Sale.” The event will run Wednesday through Monday (March 20-25), offering shoppers in the United States deals on seasonal items like spring fashion, outdoor furniture, lawn and garden products, and cleaning and organizing items. The company noted that these discounts will include “up to 40% off select home products.”

Events such as these can go a long way toward winning consumers’ spending in the category, as ongoing economic challenges limit shoppers’ purchasing power.

The February/March PYMNTS Intelligence report “New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report: Why One-Third of High Earners Live Paycheck to Paycheck,” which drew from a census-balanced survey of more than 4,200 U.S. consumers, found that 82% of wage earners say that their incomes have not kept up with inflation.

Against this backdrop, consumers are looking for deals. According to the PYMNTS Intelligence’s study “Consumer Inflation Sentiment: The False Appeal of Deal-Chasing Consumers,” which was based on a survey of more than 2,100 U.S. consumers, 46% of retail shoppers are deal chasers, willing to go wherever they will get the best price.

As consumers seek these deals, both mega-retailers have seen success with their savings events. PYMNTS Intelligence data from last summer’s report, Summer Deal Days 2023: How Amazon Still Dominates,” found that 40% of consumers made purchases on Amazon Prime Day, and 20% did so during Walmart+ Week. For both retail behemoths, 22% of participants reported having made a home furnishing purchase during the events.

Notably, Amazon’s gains in the furniture category come in spite of the company’s decision last year to phase out two of its three furniture brands.

Meanwhile, Walmart is looking to drive revenue in other ways.

On the consumer-facing side, for instance, the retailer is integrating artificial intelligence (AI) features into its app to improve the online shopping experience and personalize the consumer journey. On the B2B end, meanwhile, it announced Thursday (March 14) plans to sell its AI-powered truck Route Optimization software to other companies. 

In the ever evolving omnichannel retail landscape, the battle for consumer loyalty, particularly in high-ticket categories like furniture, has reached new heights. Amazon’s pursuit of market dominance, including leveraging its scale to offer discounts that others would struggle to compete with, has propelled it further ahead, leaving rivals such as Walmart struggling to keep pace.