Article

Retailer Membership Review: Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime

These days, it seems like every major retailer has their own membership program. To encourage shopper loyalty, retailers offer members-only perks like discounted products, fast & free shipping, and exclusive sales. But what do we know about the actual impact of these membership programs? Who’s signing up, and how are the programs affecting their spending habits?

Numerator collects verified retailer membership data for two of the nation’s largest retailers, Walmart and Amazon. Unlike self-reported membership participation data, verified retailer membership data adds a layer of authentication, allowing for a deeper analysis of purchase behaviors among those with verified, active retailer memberships. Read on as we dive into the details around Walmart+ and Amazon Prime membership, uncovering their distinct demographics, spending pattern impacts, and potential areas of exploration for brands and retailers.

Comparing Walmart+ and Amazon Prime members

With a lower annual membership cost and an expansive physical store presence, Walmart+ appeals to a different cohort of consumers than Amazon Prime.

  • Socioeconomic Factors: Compared to Amazon Prime members, Walmart+ members tend to have lower incomes and larger households with children. Walmart+ membership is also more prevalent among Black consumers and in rural areas.
  • Geographic Affinities: Walmart+ members predominantly reside in regions where Walmart holds strong physical roots, notably the South Atlantic, West South Central, and East South Central divisions of the US. Members of Amazon Prime are evenly distributed across regions and urbanicities.
  • Online Shopping Behaviors: Although Amazon maintains a stronghold as the top online retailer in the US, Walmart+ members are more likely than Prime Members to make weekly online purchases, buy in bulk online, or use subscription or auto-replenishment services.

There is also a high overlap between Walmart+ and Amazon Prime memberships. Over four-fifths (83%) of known Walmart+ members also have a Prime membership. Lapsed Walmart+ members and non-members are both less likely to have a Prime membership, suggesting some households are simply not inclined to participate in retailer membership programs or are cutting back across the board.

Membership Impact on Spending Habits

Retailer memberships like Walmart+ and Amazon Prime have a notable influence on consumer spending, shaping shopping behaviors both in-store and online. Amazon Prime members outspend the average Amazon shopper by 12% annually, and Walmart+ members spend 76% more than the average Walmart shopper—31% more in-store and 206% more at walmart.com.

Retailer memberships also result in a higher share of wallet at their respective retailers, though this is more prominent with Walmart+ memberships than Amazon Prime memberships. Walmart+ members spend 26% of their dollars at Walmart and 12% at Amazon, compared to Amazon Prime members who spend 15% at Walmart and 13% at Amazon. Lapsed Walmart+ members show a shift toward Amazon in the past year, while members of both Walmart+ and Amazon Prime shifted spending toward walmart.com.

Category Boosts from Retailer Memberships

Most Amazon shoppers have a Prime membership, and as a result, Prime members generally purchase the same categories on Amazon as the average shopper. However, a smaller portion of Walmart shoppers hold Walmart+ memberships, and their category spending is notably different than the average Walmart shopper.

Walmart+ shoppers purchase core CPG categories like grocery, pet, and baby from Walmart and walmart.com much more frequently than the average Walmart shopper. Members spend over a third (38%) of their dollars in these categories at Walmart, nearly two times higher than the average Walmart shopper. Walmart+ members are also four times more likely to have used Walmart’s grocery delivery services in the past year (81% vs. 20% of all Walmart shoppers), suggesting this is one of the main draws to a Walmart+ membership.

Potential Areas of Exploration

As businesses navigate the evolving landscape of retailer membership programs, several avenues for exploration emerge:

  • Consumer Insights: Dive deeper into consumer panel data to uncover the impact and exposure of your brand or category among Walmart+ and Amazon Prime members.
  • Retail Strategy: Evaluate the implications for your retail outlets—especially online banners and delivery services—by assessing the overlap between Walmart+/Prime members and your core shopper base.
  • Member Engagement: Leverage custom surveys to gain insight into the primary benefits driving new memberships, retention, and membership lapsing.
  • Cross-Promotional Opportunities: Identify brands and categories with high affinities among Walmart+ or Amazon Prime members to explore potential promotional collaborations.

Interested in learning more about Numerator’s single-sourced, verified retailer membership data and how it can help you boost business? Reach out to your Numerator representative or get in touch with our team today.


Analysis contributed by Kristen Bennett (Senior Consultant, Numerator Retail Team) and Chris Foong (Senior Consultant, Numerator Retail Team)

Explore more recommended content.

2024 Beauty Industry Trends: Gen Z, Skincare, & More
Article
2024 Beauty Industry Trends: Gen Z, Skincare, & More
Uncover the top trends in the beauty industry for 2024. From skincare to Gen Z preferences, get informed to stay rele...
Learn More
Step-by-Step CPG Category Placement Strategy for Emerging Brands
Article
Step-by-Step CPG Category Placement Strategy for Emerging Brands
Explore effective CPG category management approaches to boost visibility and growth for emerging brands by understand...
Learn More
Tick Tock Goes the Clock: Insights on How a TikTok Ban Would Affect Americans
Article
Tick Tock Goes the Clock: Insights on How a TikTok Ban Would Affect Americans
Understand the TikTok ban insights and its potential impact on Gen Z users, social media habits, and TikTok Shop.
Learn More

Grow more with modern insights.

Get your free demo today!

Our industry-leading panel is bigger and better than ever — going beyond omnichannel to give brands and retailers the insights they need to grow in ever-changing markets.