Whole Paycheck Tracker: Amazon, Walmart Gain Q3 eCommerce Sales, But Lose Share Of Total Spend 

PYMNTS’ latest Walmart vs. Amazon Whole Paycheck Tracker found that the two retail giants did something unusual during the third quarter: They either remained flat or lost ground in the battle for total U.S. retail spend and consumer spend.

“This edition of the Whole Paycheck Tracker report … does not contain the customary exponential increases associated with these two retailers,” the study reported. “In fact, our data shows an unprecedented drop in share of overall consumer spend for each of them.”

For instance, the report found that Walmart’s total share of U.S. retail spending fell to 8.7 percent in Q3 from 10.2 percent in Q2. Meanwhile, its piece of total U.S. consumer spend eased to 2.9 percent from a previous 3.4 percent.

Similarly, Amazon’s share of overall U.S. retail spending pulled back to 8.7 percent during Q3 vs. 9 percent three months earlier, although its share of total U.S. consumer spending was unchanged at 3.2 percent for both periods.

“It was a quarter that any retailer besides Amazon and Walmart would be happy to take in the U.S.,” the report noted. “But it’s clear from the data and anecdotal evidence that the ‘Amazon effect’ and the ‘Walmart effect’ might be losing their power.”

Plenty of Good News for Both Companies 

On the surface, both companies did great during Q3, as the pandemic continued to push consumers toward eCommerce. Amazon’s online sales rose 9 percent to $111 billion in Q3 from $101.8 billion in Q2, while Walmart’s shot up 79 percent.

Walmart’s status as an “essential” retailer also meant that most of its brick-and-mortar locations stayed open most of the time, allowing in-store comp sales to rise 6.4 percent during Q3.

But Amazon didn’t do as well in the brick-and-mortar world, with revenues at its physical stores — Amazon Books, Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods — essentially flat at about $3.8 billion for both Q2 and Q3.

Why Amazon and Walmart Lost Share in the Whole Paycheck Battle 

If things mostly looked good during Q3 for Amazon and Walmart, how did both chains manage to lose share in the battle for the consumers’ whole paycheck?

Simple: Other retailers also fought hard for sales – especially online ones. For example, Target saw a 20 percent jump in brick-and-mortar sales during Q3, while its eCommerce revenues soared 155 percent.

“[Target] might not be directly responsible for Walmart’s spend percentage decreases, but it shows that it can compete with Walmart,” the report noted. “[And] other categories, grocery and electronics in particular, show that Amazon isn’t unbeatable – it’s just dominant.”

To download the full report, click here or click the graphic above.