Home Entrepreneur A Merchant's Guide to Ecommerce Success on Amazon, Instacart, Walmart and Target

A Merchant’s Guide to Ecommerce Success on Amazon, Instacart, Walmart and Target

April 7, 2021

7 minutes of reading

Comments expressed by Businessmen the contributors are their own.

The past year has brought a shock to digital commerce. The speed of change has set out much in reaction mode, make sure they are set up and on all platforms.

However, approaching each of the individual platforms – and not understanding their nuances – is a serious mistake. A cross-platform strategy is critical for sustainability ecommerce is successful and there are a number of strategies to get there. As these retailers compete fiercely for e-commerce consumers and share wallets, The manufacturers are often left in the dust. If brands are feeling losing the nuances of these e-commerce platforms, they’re not alone.

Here’s what you need to know when interacting with the four major retail and advertising platforms: Amazon, , and .


Amazon, Largest e-commerce retailer in the United States, is a pure play e-commerce retailer. In stark contrast to value-added retailers like Target and Walmart, Amazon doesn’t believe they are selling things – they’re in a business that helps people buy things. They are a platform for selling and distributing products, with more than half of their 2020 package volume offered by their own logistics company.

Winning search is crucial to a brand’s success on Amazon, and Amazon’s platform is mostly pay-to-play. With a low barrier of entry for brand manufacturers, Amazon Prime program promotes loyalty and fast shipping, Amazon is the essential player for most consumer brands. However, Amazon can be expensive for brands. Between aggressive negotiation tactics with 1P vendors, reimbursement, shortage claims, advertising costs, and FBA (Fulfilled-by-Amazon) third-party fees, Amazon is often the channel with restoring costs. the manufacturer’s highest crop.

From a consumer perspective, Amazon’s weakness lies in the overwhelming consumer shopping experience, do not trust the product and consider authenticity, and the impact on the environment. Amazon’s future success rests on continuous innovation in both its advertising platform and operations to help offset pure e-commerce shipping costs. They need to continue to focus on overcoming the consumer trust challenges associated with fake products and fake reviews. Finally, last year of antitrust activities may present new challenges and requirements for Amazon that will influence future profit flows.

Related: Generation Zers are bragging about making $ 3 million as an Amazon Seller. Is it really that easy?


Instacart is a more collaborative grocery service platform 500 retailers and 40,000 stores in America and . Instacart is not a grocery store or e-commerce retailer; surname an intermediate platform is on the list of retailers and delivery service providers. Consumers can order via Instacart directly from Instacart.com or from the retailer’s website, using Instacart’s Technology and delivery service.

Instacart has two revenue streams: retailers that pay Instacart to be listed on their platform or use Instacart apps and technologies on their website, and advertising revenue from consumer brands. use (CPG) advertising on their platform. The more brands drive the speed of sales on their items, the more Instacart algorithms continue to drive them, such as in “buy-back” and “buy-back” personalized sales. “. Instacart is generally generous with data on advertising results, but does not share data exclusively for retailers, a complication when manufacturers want to allocate sales to a particular channel.

Instacart’s future depends on their ability to get consumers to initiate their shopping experience on Instacart rather than on the retailer’s website. As more and more traditional grocery stores build their own online stores and take orders, Instacart has to is positioned as a platform to drive increased traffic. Otherwise, brands will seek to build or buy these capabilities, rather than renting them from Instacart. In addition, the retailer’s product prices on Instacart are often higher to offset the increased costs of the platform. During the pandemic, Instacart thrived. But once normal is restored, will consumers still accept a higher price or will they choose a lower priced BOPIS (Shop Online) solution? The answer is still a mystery.


For many manufacturers, Walmart bricks and mortar about 5,000 locations in the United States has long been an integral part of their business. However, the past two years have brought significant and positive investment in e-commerce as Walmart takes on Amazon. From the pick at the store to dark shop, BOPIS, execution center and micro completion Center, Walmart is throwing everything to the wall to reduce order fulfillment costs and find a path to profitable grocery e-commerce.

Walmart has some of the same programs as Amazon: Walmart + only launched a year ago and 21% of consumers are registered making it a strong competitor to Amazon’s Prime program. In order to best compete with Amazon consumer reviews, Walmart allows manufacturers to provide reviews from their own websites. In addition, Walmart is developing its advertising platform, Walmart Connect, to help to offset shipping costs directly to consumers. Their third-party platform is the same as that of Amazon, but Walmart vendors and sellers still need to be registered and approved to participate.

While Walmart has merged their traditional and e-commerce buying groups to improve efficiency, the platform is not yet self-service. Unlike Amazon, most changes, promotions, and the like need to go through a Walmart buyer, which can slow down the success of a consumer brand.

Unfortunately for Walmart, they follow Wall Street’s different standards than Amazon’s. Although Amazon is seen as a technology company and is “allowed” to lose money for years as it builds infrastructure, works well, and loses money due to free shipping while they have consumers. Use, Walmart still follows the standards of an established retailer. Their challenge will be to overcome this next e-commerce investment boost to scale and reduce costs.

Related: The 4 Pillars of the New Ecommerce Frontier Entrepreneurs need to embrace


For Target, having a trending product is the key to their success and what keeps consumers coming back for more. For consumer brands, there is shelf space at Target’s high sale shops has long been a part of business. Popular Little interest in e-commerce, Target remains focused on in-store consumer traffic and BOPIS.

Target has also recently entered the retailer’s digital advertising game with the launch of their Roundel ad. However, the platform is still not self-service. All advertising innovations and changes must go through Criteo, Target’s advertising platform provider.

More brands are increasingly viewing Target as a competitor. Target excels at launching and developing branded private label products. Dynamic apparel brand target All in Motion created turnover of more than 1 billion dollars within a year, and theirs The recent launch of Mondo Llama art paraphernalia Get off to a strong start.

Since the trendy, inspirational choices are important drivers of success, it’s no surprise that Target has a high barrier of entry for brands and sellers. Buyers must approve all new types of online and their third party marketplace is closed to some trusted resellers.

Target’s success is due to truly understanding consumers, matching their inventory accurately, and sticking to what they’re good at. Going forward, Target must find a way to continue winning key categories like groceries and beauty products to stay ahead of Amazon and Walmart. This will also help them ensure repeat visitors in their store.

Main lessons learned

When Amazon, Target, Walmart and Instacart dedicate it to e-commerce consumers, who wins? Are the consumers winning or are they the beneficiaries of these aggressive tactics? Do brand manufacturers win, because they have more ecommerce platforms ready to deliver products to consumers? Or do retailers win, because they have the power to categorize and command advertising dollars?

While it seems Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Instacart are getting land for e-commerce consumers, a closer look shows their strategies and tactics are quite different. Understanding the key differences and how to optimize them is key to a manufacturer’s success on the market platform.

Related: A beginner’s guide to building a profitable e-commerce business

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