This Is Like Buying Amazon Back In 2008

Ecommerce, Selling Online, Online Sales, E-Commerce

Image Source: Pixabay

The numbers are eye-popping. As my colleague Michael A. Robinson pointed out last week, online shopping exploded to the tune of $4.13 trillion during this past year, fueled largely by the pandemic. That's bigger than the entire economy of Germany. Don't get me wrong – e-commerce was making waves long before then, but the coronavirus pushed it to totally unexpected heights.

Now, usually, when you say the word "e-commerce," Inc. (AMZN) comes right to mind. I mean, it is the trailblazer there; it practically invented e-commerce. Trouble is, you can't get into Amazon for less than $3,100 a share right now; it's a great company, but that's a little rich for most regular investors.

And this could be controversial, but, in my opinion, Amazon, while good, isn't necessarily the best e-commerce play right now. Instead, I think the crown – and your investment dollar – belongs here:

Walmart Has Poured on the Hustle

We've all had to make some rapid changes this year, and the corporate world is certainly no exception. Amazon's enjoyed a lot of success over the years (to put it mildly) with an absolutely mind-blowing selection of products and some of the fastest shipping out there.

But companies that, say, didn't have the easiest, most user-friendly website navigation, or the fastest, most flexible shipping options, have had to really step up their game as millions more Americans spent trillions more dollars from home. In short, they've had to emulate the "Amazon model," and do it faster and better.

Walmart Inc. (WMT) has done the best job of it. And you can own it for 1/22 the cost of AMZN. Now, Walmart is turning its significantly improved "guns" on one of the biggest, nastiest problems in the e-commerce business: the dreaded return process.

Returns have gotten easier for customers, but the thing is, from a corporate bottom-line point of view, maybe they've gotten a little too easy. Overly liberal return policies, restocking confusion, physical returns – all of this costs e-commerce outfits millions of dollars every year. They view it as a loss-leader, a cost of doing business to keep customers happy, but now Walmart has devised a way to keep its customers happy and keep its returns losses down.

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Alexa Graham 4 weeks ago Member's comment

Here's hoping!

Adam Reynolds 3 weeks ago Member's comment

We're all hoping!