Who Is The Average Walmart Online Shopper?

Business models come and go. That’s largely because consumer habits change dramatically based on any number of factors. Trends are never stagnant, largely because adaptation is the only constant in any business, physical or digital.


But some have staying power. EDLP (“Everyday Low Pricing”) is one of them. And if the name of that model seems familiar, you can thank Walmart. Walmart’s strength as a physical retailer isn’t based on its product range alone, but by its sheer visibility. There’s over 5,300 Walmart stores across the US—3,570 of which are Walmart Supercenters. Approximately 220 million customers visit Walmart each week, and EDLP remains a key driving factor in Walmart’s foot traffic.


But foot traffic isn’t the same as digital traffic. Walmart may be well established as a physical retailer, but has competitively fared well below the market share commanded by Amazon—despite a projected revenue growth of 26.4 percent by the end of this year.


But Walmart customers are fiercely loyal. According to the Q2 2021 Retail Loyalty Report from InMarket, Walmart scored 3.22 out of 3.5, making it the US retailer with the highest number of repeat visits. So what does the average Walmart online customer look like?


Not particularly different from their physical counterparts, it seems. A survey from JungleScout conducted earlier this year revealed that Walmart.com customers are increasingly price conscious, with 83 percent actively looking for ways to save when shopping compared to 75 percent of all US consumers. While that same survey found that 54 percent of Walmart customers reported financial setbacks in the past year, the retailer has always used price to position itself; a strategic advantage which consistently allows them to maintain customer loyalty even in spite of increasingly lower pricing from competitors.


But there’s been a recent change in Walmart’s demographics. A 2016 survey from Kantar Retail revealed that Walmart shoppers tend to skew towards women between the ages of 45-54 with an annual household income between $50,000 - $75,000. But today’s online Walmart shoppers can’t be so easily defined. They’re as likely to be male as they are female; and in 2020, neither age nor disposable income were dominant factors in the face of sheer necessity. As the pandemic forced even digital-hesitant shoppers to adopt new habits, competitive price advantage became critical. Millennials may have historically been the least likely to show retailer loyalty, but their younger Gen Z siblings have indicated price advantage to be their primary online shopping benefit. Interestingly enough, 84 percent of Walmart.com shoppers also begin their product searches on Amazon compared to 74 percent of US consumers, while 60 percent also shop on Amazon at least once a week.


It’s becoming clear that channel diversity is no longer a question of competition in the digital marketplace but an outright necessity. But it’s also just as applicable to the option between physical and digital shopping. A 2020 survey from Google found that 73 percent of consumers consider themselves “channel agnostics” when choosing between in-store and online shopping, and that’s a number Walmart has leveraged to their advantage by offering delivery methods including curbside pickup and BOPIS. But not every brand will benefit from developing an omnichannel strategy. And there’s both pros and cons to selling on Walmart Marketplace which need to be carefully weighed before considering channel exclusivity.


But just what does the average Walmart online customer look like in 2021? They might just look like your average customer—as diverse and unpredictable as your business.



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