Target vs. Wal-Mart: Online Conversion Battle Heats Up

For several months, retailers have been reporting declining in-store sales but increasing online sales. So what does the all important e-commerce space look like for two of the largest retailers?

Last month, Wal-Mart attracted more visitors than Target to its website and 47% of Wal-Mart visitors looked at a product compared to 31% of Target visitors. However, among shoppers who viewed a product, Target had a higher shopping cart interaction rate and conversion rate.

Despite the slight lead in conversions, more Target customers abandon their carts than Wal-Mart shoppers. 47% of shoppers who begin checking out at Target do not complete their purchases, where as 35% of shoppers at Wal-Mart abandon their carts.
In general, Target leads in purchase rate and Wal-Mart boasts a smaller shopping cart abandonment rate. But how do more loyal consumers shop online?

Retailer credit card holders represent some of the most loyal, and valuable, customers. Among shoppers who accessed their credit card accounts, conversion rate for Wal-Mart shoppers edges ahead of Target to a 14% rate compared to Target’s 13%. Wal-Mart shopping cart abandonment does not change much, averaging 33% of shoppers. Target’s abandonment rate, however, drops 18% from 47% to 38%, narrowing the gap between it and Wal-Mart’s rate. It’s no surprise that competition is extremely fierce between these two rivals and I expect things to heat up even more as retailers gear up for back-to-school and the holiday season.

About Debra Miller Arbesman:
Debra Miller Arbesman is senior associate, retailer and consumer products at Compete, a Kantar Media company that helps brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers.