Walmart beat Amazon on Black Friday by one small but important metric

Amazon may be the biggest e-commerce player, but it was edged out by Walmart for first-time app downloads on Black Friday.

Walmart beat Amazon on Black Friday by one small but important metric
[Photo: Peggy_Marco/Pixabay]

Volumes of future marketing analysis will surely be written about this year’s unprecedented holiday shopping season, but for now we’ll have to make do with industry reports that reveal people’s pandemic-era spending habits in dribs and drabs.


The latest drib (or drab?) comes from analytics firm Sensor Tower, whose new dispatch shows a record surge in new downloads of shopping-related mobile apps. Black Friday alone saw more than 2.8 million first-time installs of shopping apps, the largest ever in a single day, according to Sensor Tower’s preliminary estimates. Year-over-year growth, the report says, was about the same as last year at 8%, but it was more substantial when you look at the entire month of November—with 59.2 million shopping app installs compared to 51.7 million for the same period last year.

However, things get even more interesting when you look at the top 10 apps. Amazon may be the largest e-commerce company in terms of market share, but it was edged out by Walmart for first-time app downloads on Black Friday. Amazon saw 106,000 installs on November 27 versus Walmart’s 131,000, Sensor Tower reports.

Here’s how the full list shakes out:

  1. Walmart
  2. Amazon
  3. Shop
  4. Target
  5. Best Buy
  6. Nike
  7. SHEIN
  8. Sam’s Club
  9. Klarna
  10. OfferUp

The data are a small but notable feather in Walmart’s cap as it seeks to gain ground against its digital-native rival in a world where consumers are growing accustomed to life without physical stores. But you can’t just credit the COVID-19 pandemic for Walmart’s impressive showing. This is the second year in a row that it bested Amazon in downloads on Black Friday. And a report from eMarketer in March already forecast that Walmart would pull ahead of eBay this year to become the No. 2 e-commerce company in terms of U.S. market share.

Amazon and Walmart declined to comment on the data.


Don’t pass the hat around for Jeff Bezos just yet. Amazon boasted earlier today that it’s having its biggest holiday shopping season ever, with $4.8 billion in global sales generated by independent businesses between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And we’re not even a full day into December yet.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine