I ordered the same 5 items with Amazon Prime and Walmart Plus, and Amazon Prime's shipping was faster and more reliable

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  • I ordered the same five items with Amazon Prime and Walmart+ to compare their shopping experiences.
  • Amazon Prime has pricing perks, faster shipping, and more flexible delivery and return options.
  • See also: What it’s like to use the Walmart+ scan and go mobile perk

Best mattresses according to experts

A big draw for potential Walmart+ members is free next-day or two-day shipping on a large number of items online, with no order minimum. And as we know, Amazon Prime is all about convenience and shipping speed.

That’s why I decided to put Walmart+ and Amazon Prime head to head to see which one offered the better online shopping experience and which one got my items to me faster. Spoiler: It’s Amazon. 

The setup

I ordered the same five items across different categories (food and drink, apparel, personal care, and tech) from Walmart and Amazon on the same day, taking note of prices, user experience, checkout process, order confirmations, and tracking details provided. I also compared their shipping speeds, how the items from each retailer were packed and delivered, and return policies. 

To determine my shopping cart, I thought about items that are commonly ordered and also items that might be trickier to ship and don’t always make it to their final destination in one piece, such as foods and liquids. Here was my final shopping list for Walmart and Amazon: 

  1. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (13.5 oz.) 
  2. Viva Naturals Chia Seed (2 lb.)
  3. Bubly Sparkling Water Variety Pack (18-count) 
  4. Anker Powerline USB-C Cable (2-pack)
  5. Hanes Men’s Ecosmart Fleece Sweatshirt (Medium) 

The details

Pricing

*All prices are at the time of purchase

Walmart+Amazon Prime

Garnier Cleansing Water: $6.78

Garnier Cleansing Water: $6.34 

Viva Naturals Chia Seed: $10.99

Viva Naturals Chia Seed: $10.99 

Bubly Sparkling Water: $10.99

Bubly Sparkling Water: $10.99

Anker Powerline USB-C Cable: $14.99

Anker Powerline USB-C Cable: $14.99

Hanes Men’s Ecosmart Fleece Sweatshirt: $8.87

Hanes Men’s Ecosmart Fleece Sweatshirt: $10.99

Total: $57.56 incl. tax and merchandising fee 

Total: $58.40 incl. tax

The winner: Walmart is just slightly cheaper than Amazon, but the difference here isn’t huge. You’ll get a great low price no matter where you shop. 

Pricing perks

Walmart+Amazon Prime
None

For many household and personal care items, you can set up Subscribe & Save to save up to 15% on repeat deliveries. Some items may also have coupons to let you save up to 40% on your first Subscribe & Save order.

You can adjust the subscription frequency to your preference. 

The winner: Amazon makes it easier to automate the purchase of bulk items and the things you need every month (or every few months or every few weeks). Using Subscribe & Save also saves you some money. 

Ordering experience 

Walmart+Amazon Prime
Can add items to a list (e.g. wishlist)Can add items to a list (e.g. wishlist)
No one-click ordering

Lets you quickly “Buy Now” if you only need to buy one thing and already have your info (credit card, address) saved in your account

Gift order: Both you and your recipient will receive tracking info. The gift is delivered with no price information, and the recipient is emailed a gift message and gift receipt.

Gift order: Includes a packing slip with hidden prices so the recipient knows who sent it. You can add a message or gift wrap. A digital copy of the gift receipt is shared with the recipient. 

If there are different flavors, styles, or varieties of a product, Walmart has separate product pages for each one (with the exception of clothing)

If there are different flavors, styles, or varieties of a product, Amazon will put them all on the same page

For clothing: There are usually a large number of colors/prints and sizes

For clothing: There are usually a large number of colors/prints and sizes, but prices will vary more dramatically than on Walmart

The winner: Tie. It’s intuitive and easy to shop on both sites. Amazon might be a tad faster with its one-click “Buy Now” feature if you’re in a rush. However, I like that Walmart’s gifting option gives your recipient a heads up about an upcoming gift, and there’s less extreme price fluctuation in its fashion department. 

Checkout and delivery options

Walmart+Amazon Prime
Order is split into multiple shipments Order is split into multiple shipments
Some items can be picked up at your local store

Some items can be picked up at a nearby Amazon locker

No choice of delivery date 

Multiple delivery date options (Amazon Day, no-rush shipping for digital reward) 

Only gives estimated delivery dates (e.g. “By March 3”)

Gives both exact and estimated delivery dates 

Can round up your final cart total and donate the change to UNCF, a charity

Can donate to a charity of your choice if you shop through Amazon Smile 

The winner: Amazon, but this answer could also depend on whether you live closer to a Walmart store or an Amazon locker, and if you care about controlling the exact delivery date. I do appreciate that Amazon gives you an exact delivery date right away. Additionally, a few of Amazon’s delivery options let you save packaging or money. 

Confirmations and tracking

Walmart+Amazon Prime
Sends order confirmation, shipping notification, and confirmed delivery notification via email and the app Sends order confirmation, shipping notification, and confirmed delivery notification via email and the app 

The winner: Tie. Both retailers are transparent and communicative about every step of the process. You should know when your order is shipped out, whether there are any delays, and when it’s been delivered to your door. 

Shipping and delivery

*I ordered both sets of items at the same time on February 22. 

Walmart+Amazon Prime
Estimated arrival dates of February 22-March 4Estimated arrival dates of February 23-24
Actual arrival dates of February 24, February 26, and March 1Actual arrival dates of February 23 and February 24
All items arrived accurately and securely, with no spillage or damageAll items arrived accurately and securely, with no spillage or damage
Some items shipped together in a box, while others were shipped in a bubble mailerSome items shipped together in a box, while others were shipped in a bubble mailer

The winner: Amazon was much faster than Walmart and sent the items in fewer shipments. I was surprised that both Amazon and Walmart sent the micellar water unwrapped, unsecured, and along with food and drink items — the caps on these bottles usually open pretty easily. Luckily, nothing spilled, but I can see accidents happening. Walmart cushioned the box with paper packaging, while Amazon used a few airbags. 

Returns

Walmart+Amazon Prime
Drop-off at your nearest store, but the item must be packaged in a box and ready to ship. Walmart will provide the label. Drop-off at an eligible Kohl’s store. The item does not need to be packaged in a box. Amazon/Kohl’s will provide the label. 
Fedex and UPS drop-off availableFedex and UPS drop-off available
Return by mail availableReturn by mail available 

The winner: Amazon. I love using the Kohl’s drop-off option for returns since I don’t need to provide my own packaging. I’ve also found Amazon customer service to be better when it comes to returns. Sometimes, it doesn’t even require me to send back an item, and it will still provide the refund. 

The bottom line

Amazon Prime was the clear winner in almost all points of comparison. Though Walmart+ has many good features Prime doesn’t offer — notably, discounts on fuel —  it still has some improvements to make in order to be a true competitor to Amazon Prime. If you want an easy and convenient online shopping experience and fast, reliable shipping, you should choose Amazon Prime. 

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