Demand for Walmart's Flagship App Tops Amazon's for First Time in 2020

Ariel Michaeli Ariel Michaeli
5/15/20 #covid-19

Walmart has done it again. By "that," we mean outperform rival Amazon on the App Store. This time, with its flagship app.

Growing. Growing. Grown!

Downloads have been growing steadily since the beginning of April, and this week, finally topped Amazon in the US. This is the third time Walmart was able to do that since 2017.

Demand for the two has been fairly consistent, albeit at a lower scale for Walmart, going into the lockdown. But over the last two weeks, demand for Walmart's flagship app has been on the rise.

The app grew by 50% in early May, from 43K downloads to 60K, then by another 50% hitting 92K new downloads last Tuesday. This is Walmart's second-biggest single-day downloads ever.

Cannibalism is Good (Sometimes)

The secret behind this consistent growth the Walmart app has been experiencing is not just a sign of the times, but rather a strategic move made by Walmart to consolidate its (now in demand) grocery shopping app with its flagship shopping app into one.

They did that by adding features from the grocery shopping app into the flagship app and then pushing existing users to the flagship app. Let's see how that translates into downloads.

When we put them side by side, the decision to merge the two becomes obvious. Downloads of Walmart's grocery shopping app have skyrocketed since the US started locking down while the flagship app remained pretty static.

Download spiked very quickly by more than 300% early on, going from 11K daily downloads to more than 35K. This trend sustained for much of March, with continued growth leading to the app hitting 67K downloads on April 6th. For comparison, Amazon had 10K fewer downloads on that day.

What Can Amazon Do?

Not much. Although it has gotten some bad press for its handling of warehouse employees, Amazon is still the top destination for shopping on the App Store. Fast delivery, lots of variety, and a very optimized checkout experience continue to give Amazon a sustainable advantage.

Now that Walmart has "all of its eggs in one basket," we could see the app improving. That's when Amazon will need to start worrying.

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