It’s no secret that Walmart and Amazon are fighting for who will take first place in the e-commerce race. It’s a story nearly as old as the Internet itself, who will be kind. While the brick and mortar retailer has tried and failed to start a few different membership services, the company has yet to give up. According to sources familiar with the company who spoke to Recode, we could see the world’s largest brick and mortar retailer launch a new subscription service dubbed Walmart+ as soon as next month.
Walmart could be getting back into the online subscription game big time
While Walmart has tried a shipping service once before and subsequently canceled it to just offer free 2-day shipping on all orders over $35, the company might be looking to get back into the game according to Recode. Currently, Walmart has Delivery Unlimited, which is a $98 annual plan that offers grocery delivery. While this can’t directly compete with Prime, Walmart+ is said to include Delivery Unlimited’s grocery service among many other features to finally give Amazon some competition. This information comes on the heels of NextDay Delivery being announced which offers 1-day shipping on select items to further compete with Amazon.
Can Walmart compete with Amazon’s 150 million Prime members?
It’s no secret that Prime is huge for Amazon, now that they have over 150 million paying members. This is in part thanks to Amazon’s tactic to steal brick and mortar shoppers since it started offering Prime memberships to lower-income families people who generally would opt for in-store shopping to save some extra cash. However, Walmart thinks that it can take back some of these customers with a properly-featured service plan.
While Amazon’s Prime services sure are vast, with movies, online photo storage, shipping, grocery delivery, and more being offered, Walmart is poised to give Amazon a hearty punch if they provide the right benefits. Walmart is, of course, the world’s largest brick and mortar retailer. Amazon, on the other hand, is the world’s largest eRetailer. According to eMarketer, as spotted by Recode, Amazon dominates around 40% of online retail sales in the US, while Walmart, though at #2 in the lineup, only takes home around 5% of online sales. However, Walmart does offer several things that Amazon doesn’t, one of which is gas stations.
One feature that could come with Walmart+ is discounts on the fuel used in most vehicles on the road, along with the ability to use SMS to place orders, discounts on prescription drugs at the company’s pharmacy, and even could bring the return of Scan & Go to avoid lines while shopping in-store. Just keep in mind that the only feature that’s really confirmed is that Walmart+ will include grocery delivery, however, we do expect the company to bulk up its service with multiple features to really try and draw Prime’s crowd away.
When can we expect Walmart+ to launch?
Well, Recode reached out to Walmart about the potential launch of Walmart+, and the company declined to comment any further than confirming the existence of the program. However, sources familiar with the company said that it could launch as soon as next month in select markets. Walmart+ is rumored to be right around $100 per year, though the fee could still change at any point, or, the company might decide to trial multiple pricing tiers in different markets. All this is pure speculation, though, as we have yet to hear anything official from Walmart itself.
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