Dec 17, 2018

Prime Holiday Shopping Competitors

Holiday shopping
In a follow up to our post on retailers challenging Amazon on convenience for Black Friday, some of the biggest retailers continue to expand their offerings this holiday season.

In early November we discussed how Target and Walmart were fighting the convenience of Amazon this holiday season by improving the in-store experience for shoppers. Through quick aisle checkout, store navigation, and easy product locating via their apps, both retailers improved the holiday shopping experience for those who still crave the traditional trip to the store. But with 42% of shoppers planning to buy most or all of their gifts online this year (according to our InfoScout OmniPanel data), Target and Walmart’s boldest moves were in their shipping guidelines.

In late October Target wasted no time by announcing they would offer free 2-day shipping to all consumers on hundreds of thousands of items, with no membership or minimum purchase required. Walmart also announced major improvements to their marketplace, with the biggest being their expanded offering of free two-day shipping on millions of items. Not to be outdone, Amazon followed up by announcing in early November that they would be dropping their free shipping minimum, meaning that those without Prime memberships could still take advantage of the perks during the busiest shopping time of the year.

And although 2018 has gifted us an early Thanksgiving and Black Friday, extending the holiday shopping season by a week, last-minute shoppers will always be key a audience for retailers to market to. According to our InfoScout OmniPanel data, 75% of shoppers said that they will finish their Christmas shopping in December, with 20% admitting they will wait until the last minute before Christmas. Just this morning Target declared that they will be “saving the day for last-minute shoppers” by announcing that eligible orders placed through December 20thare guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas Eve for free. 

But their offers don’t stop there – shoppers can also use same-day delivery via Shipt up until two hours prior to store closings on Christmas Eve, take advantage of express one-day shipping up until December 21st to receive their order by December 24th, or pick up an online order for free at their local store up until 6PM on Christmas Eve. This follows Amazon’s announcement from last week where they stated they would be extending their free shipping with no minimum offerings until December 18th. Prime members can still take advantage of free two-day shipping until December 22nd, and free one-day shopping until December 23rd. Comparably, Walmart shoppers have until December 20that 2PM to take advantage of free 2-day delivery and have their items arrive by Christmas Eve. Select items at Walmart can be ordered as late as December 23rd for a December 24th pickup.  

We’re seeing advertisements directed towards last-minute shoppers across many retailers. Data pulled today shows retailers across various product categories advertising their last-minute shipping and in-store pickup offerings prominently on their website homepages. Nordstrom and Home Depot are advertising their free delivery with a link to specific shipping details, while retailers like Best Buy and Lowes focused on their fast store pickup.  


It will be interesting to see what stores, if any, extend their holiday promotions past the dates they’ve already set. While Amazon may seem like the most convenient option for holiday shoppers,  many retailers are going above and beyond to accommodate us procrastinators (a title that took me many holiday shopping seasons to finally admit to).

For more holiday insights, check out our hub and be sure to subscribe to our blog today as we continue to cover the 2018 shopping season.