Walmart has said it will reduce its online shipping rate for customers who are members of its affiliate program, Walmart +.
Starting Friday, Walmart + members will receive free shipping the next day and two days – even if they only have one item from the company’s website in their basket. Walmart typically requires customers to spend $ 35 or more to receive free shipping.
Walmart+ Users To Benefit
“Customers are clear – they want this benefit,” Walmart customer service manager Janey Whiteside said in a statement. “Being able to throw something in your cart, regardless of the amount, and looking at it immediately makes them knock small things on their list that they will do quickly.”
The big-box giant removes the minimum as it tries to persuade more customers to sign up for Walmart + and aims to compete better with its rival affiliate program, Amazon Prime. Walmart + and Amazon Prime have different prices and benefits. One of the most popular things on Amazon is its free and fast delivery, even less expensive ones like a toothbrush or a lightbulb.
Walmart’s announcement comes at a time when online shopping has gained momentum between the global epidemic and the busy holiday shopping season. Many shoppers buy gifts, decorations, baking ingredients and more on websites to limit travel to the store.
Walmart has tried to drive Amazon at a higher price and speed, too. It has used its steps in more than 4,700 stores to help speed up the fulfillment of orders. More than 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of one of the company’s stores.
Walmart + was launched in September, but the seller did not share how many customers joined. At a wage conference in November, Walmart executives repeatedly avoided analysts’ questions about the number of subscribers. When asked by CNBC, the company declined to comment.
In a study in mid-November, BMO Capital Markets estimates that some 19 million families may have signed up for Walmart +. The guess is based on a survey of about 1,000 U.S. consumers. They found that 16% had already joined.
Amazon Prime had an estimated 126 million US subscribers since October, according to estimates from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The company said by the end of January it had more than 150 million members paid to the Prime Minister worldwide – before the outbreak of the e-commerce epidemic-related disease.
The Pandemic Impact
Walmart previously said it plans to continue investing in Walmart + to make it more attractive. In a salary call in November, CEO Doug McMillon said the service was a way to deepen customer loyalty and build on its e-commerce growth during the epidemic. U.S. e-commerce sales rose 79% in the third quarter of Walmart ending October 31st.
The growth in online sales has slowed as the epidemic has progressed, leading some investors to question whether the trend of staying home, such as an increase in online shopping, will continue at similar levels after the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. That has encouraged retailers, including Walmart, to look for other sales drivers.
Walmart + costs $ 98 per year or $ 12.95 per month compared to Amazon Prime, which costs $ 119 per year or $ 12.99 per month. Includes up to 5 cents per liter of fuel and access to a Scan & Go app that allows consumers to cross the exit line. Customers can also receive unlimited free delivery to their homes for orders of $ 35 or more.
Along with Amazon’s fast and free delivery, its members have access to a huge library of movie and TV content – including original hits such as “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.” Top members can also receive free orders for $ 35 or more and receive discounts on Whole Foods owned by Amazon.
Walmart is dropping its $ 35 shipping minimum to Walmart + members.
The move could persuade more customers to sign up for the service and help Walmart + compete with Amazon Prime.
Online shopping has gained momentum during the global epidemic and during the busy holiday shopping season.
“Customers are clear – they want this benefit,” said Walmart customer service manager Janey Whiteside.