Walmart vs. Amazon in Mobile Search — A Closer Look

Interesting article from Mobile Marketer discussing Amazon’s advantage over Walmart in paid Mobile Search. It’s based on AdGooroo’s Top Mobile Search Advertisers blog post and it prompted us to do a little more digging on why Amazon’s Mobile Search program is outperforming rival Walmart’s.

 As the article mentions, we found that Amazon is garnering a huge number of impressions based on branded Amazon keywords. In other words, people are searching “Amazon” on their smartphone as a navigational shortcut to the Amazon site. (This could partially be part of the phenomenon of “show rooming” where consumers shopping in a physical store use their mobile device to compare prices for the same items on an online retailer such as Amazon.)

We also found that Amazon is much more successful than Walmart at targeting a wide range of keywords for popular products. As an example, the chart below compares Walmart’s relative share of voice to Amazon’s on a sampling of around 20 products:

Walmart Share of Voice Relative to Amazon

The bars in orange show where Walmart has an advantage compared to Amazon while the bars in blue show where Walmart has a disadvantage compared to Amazon.

As you can see, in comparison to Amazon, Walmart is faring poorly on keywords such as “cheap laptops”, “sonos”, “playstation 4”, “p90x” and “roomba”. In addition, Walmart is not sponsoring other popular terms at all like “sodastream”, “games”, “windows 8”, “dyson vacuum” and “iphone 5 cases” even though it carries those products.  In another interesting point, Walmart is not sponsoring the term “kindle”, which could be a missed opportunity considering that the retail giant offers a host of competing products to Amazon’s e-readers and tablets.