Nov 2, 2018

Prime Black Friday Competitors

Prime Black Friday Competitors
How Target and Walmart are fighting the convenience of Amazon this holiday season.

Now that you’re hopefully fully recovered from the sugar rush of Halloween, it’s time to start thinking of what stretchy pants you’ll be wearing to the Thanksgiving table this year… and what retailers you’ll be shopping for Black Friday. A couple of weeks ago we took a look at last year’s Black Friday strategies to give an early insight into 2018’s shopping event, specifically Target and Walmart. In 2017 both stores offered similar discounts on the hottest electronics in their 30+ page ads, but Target claimed ethical superiority by closing down at midnight on Thanksgiving while Walmart pulled an all-nighter, allowing shoppers to get their in-store Black Friday experience well-into the wee hours. No word yet on if Target will revert back to being open all night, but we are seeing similarities in their early holiday shopping messaging when it comes to shopper convenience.

On October 23rd Target announced that they will be offering free 2-day shipping to all consumers on hundreds of thousands of items, with no membership or minimum purchase required. CEO Brian Cornell said the retailer wants to make the busy holiday season easier for shoppers, so they can spend more time with their family – similar messaging to last year’s reasoning for not staying open all night. Similarly, Walmart announced major improvements to its marketplace just in time for the holiday shopping season, with the biggest being their expanded offer of free two-day shipping on millions of marketplace items. For two years online shoppers have enjoyed this perk on many products, and in the coming weeks leading up to the holidays, they can expect to see an increase in items that will qualify for this offer. It’s no secret that when it comes to ecommerce convenience Amazon Prime is king, so by offering the same shipping luxury without a membership, Target and Walmart are both giving their best shot at tackling them this holiday season.

Still, it’s important that brick-and-mortar retailers also focus on their in-store shoppers who prefer the traditional holiday shopping experience (one of the many advantages they have over Amazon). Target and Walmart recently both announced a similar omnichannel feature, where shoppers purchasing a few items will be allowed to check out with an employee in an aisle. Rather than waiting in daunting holiday lines, consumers can quickly grab what they want and scan their credit card on handheld machines. Both retailers are also offering easier navigation throughout their stores via their respective apps, with Target allowing shoppers to plan their trip ahead of time, and Walmart offering store maps and product location (take that, Amazon). The holiday shopping season is a critical time for retailers to stay agile with their promotions and messaging. We saw a similar reaction last year on Black Friday, when Amazon advertised free shipping on over 100 million items on their website homepage. The next day both Lowe’s and Home Depot shifted their website messaging to display their free delivery offerings in order to stay competitive. 


With many ads already leaking and early deals being offered, it’s imperative retailers stay on top of their competitors’ holiday promotions, so they can ensure their messaging is enticing to holiday shoppers. Reach out to us at to learn how you can gain visibility into your competitor’s holiday messaging, and keep checking back on our blog as we continue to cover the biggest headlines coming out of this holiday shopping season.

Now back to searching for those Thanksgiving stretchy pants…