Walmart+ members get a rewarding new perk

Discussion
Source: Walmart
Aug 25, 2022

Walmart is looking to give its Walmart+ members more reasons to renew their subscriptions.

The retailer, which recently added a Paramount+ Essential subscription at no extra cost to Walmart+, has introduced a new way for members to earn points towards future discounts with every purchase they make from the retailer.

Walmart Rewards, as the perk is called, works for members shopping on walmart.com or with the retailer’s app. Walmart+ subscribers will see an option to add rewards on hundreds of the chain’s best-selling items across a wide variety of categories, including grocery, household products and pet care.

Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president and general manager, Walmart+, wrote in a company blog, “We’re focusing first on providing rewards on items purchased by our members, and over time, we’ll continue to expand the program to deliver new ways to earn rewards.”

Members will be able to bank their rewards in the Walmart wallet in their app or website for added savings on future purchases in the chain’s stores and online. The rewards perk will also free Walmart+ members from having to worry about “fumbling with paper coupons,” wrote Mr. Cracchiolo.

Walmart+ members get a rewarding new perk
Source: Walmart

Shoppers will redeem their rewards during the checkout process. Those shopping in stores will scan the Walmart Pay QR code and tap “Use Walmart Rewards” to apply a discount to their purchase.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, speaking last week on the company’s earnings call, said that Walmart+ is part of a strategic plan to transform the retailer. “We’re building a different business, and we’re making progress.”

Mr. McMillon later added, “Walmart Plus is an important component of our plan.”

Walmart+ memberships, which cost  $98 annually or $12.95 monthly, offer free same- and next-day delivery of groceries and other products from local stores. Subscribers also get free shipping from Walmart fulfillment centers with no order minimum.

Members can fill up with discounted fuel at Walmart, Murphy Oil, Exxon and Mobil stations. They also gain access to Sam’s Club pumps and pricing at clubs.

Walmart+ members also have access to the retailer’s InHome delivery service for an extra $40 per year or $7 a month. InHome members, who pay $148 a year for the service, can now become Walmart+ members and get the service for $138.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will the perks that Walmart is adding to the Walmart+ program help build its subscriber base? What steps do you think the retailer may take with the program going forward?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Groceries, gas and in-home entertainment add up to a powerful package."
"The perks will drive new subscribers but the initiative will need a great number of new ways to justify long-term adoption."
"I’m one of those troglodytes who thinks that paying a monthly fee to get “free” rewards is odd. I’m clearly out of step with the rest of America."

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14 Comments on "Walmart+ members get a rewarding new perk"


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Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

In the Walmart vs. Amazon battle, Walmart needs to constantly add new perks to help Amazon shoppers justify adding a second $140 annual subscription to their budgets. And while I think some people will be drawn to the simplicity of the digital rewards program, I am not sure it is enough of a perk to move the needle on sustaining and growing subscribers. The digital rewards shoppers earn are only available when shopping online/in the app, they do not directly reduce the cost of today’s purchases, and they can only be redeemed on future Walmart purchases. It’s a nice program, to be sure, but I suspect the Paramount+ offer – which eliminates another monthly subscription fee and delivers value in the form of entertainment – will have a more meaningful impact on subscriptions and renewals.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

Walmart+ may be a thousand miles behind Amazon Prime, but this is a robust and worthy competitive package. Groceries, gas and in-home entertainment add up to a powerful package.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

This looks suspiciously like Amex Membership Rewards points used on Amazon. To that extent, it’s a parity play, not an enhancement. Good for shoppers, bad for Walmart, assuming they give away more in discounts than they retrieve through increased subscriptions.

Carol Spieckerman
BrainTrust

Will Walmart Rewards help build its subscriber base? Perhaps. Will it help Walmart’s ad business become even more lucrative? Yes. Walmart’s ad business grew a whopping 30 percent in the second quarter and Walmart executives correlated the gain with Walmart+ and its online marketplace expansion. You could say that Walmart is charging its customers for benefits that feed its growing stable of data ventures. There’s nothing wrong with that as customers either want these perks or not. Others are following Walmart’s example in droves.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

I’m one of those troglodytes who thinks that paying a monthly fee to get “free” rewards is odd. I’m clearly out of step with the rest of America.

Chuck Ehredt
BrainTrust

These are good additional benefits, but I wonder how many people can justify (i.e., afford) participating in two similar programs. In any case, Walmart+ needs to stand on its own, and if I did not routinely use Amazon, I could justify the fee for the benefits already offered. Mr. Cracchiolo is a great loyalty professional, but it is still early in his tenure at Walmart. I believe he will find the ways to really differentiate the Walmart+ program, so watching the evolution will be interesting for most marketing professionals. Where I think Walmart could have an edge is in collaborating with more complementary retailers – that are also relevant to Walmart customers – allowing them to earn merchant funded offers and other benefits from a larger ecosystem, and leveraging Walmart’s delivery capabilities to help customers save time shopping in a larger ecosystem.

Melissa Minkow
BrainTrust

These are great incentives to drive app adoption, and it’s good to see Walmart getting everything organized in one place for customers. This is a retailer consumers habitually shop, so perks are very much appreciated.

Gary Sankary
BrainTrust

Walmart+ is a credible alternative to Amazon now. The addition of Paramount+ moves the needle in the entertainment space. How much is the question? For existing Paramount+ subscribers, it would be a no-brainer to sign up through Walmart+. The price for Paramount’s annual membership is the same, this would be a BOGO offer. But, I just don’t think there is enough critical mass of current and potential Walmart customers who are interested to make much of a difference.

Tara Kirkpatrick
BrainTrust

It may be a slow build, but I see this as a huge competitive move to get the American consumer off an Amazon Prime subscription and replace it with Walmart+. Just wait until it puts the subscription paywall in front of curbside pickup. Jeff puts it perfectly below that “Groceries, gas and in-home entertainment add up to a powerful package,” especially in today’s climate. Amazon does not help Americans with their weekly grocery or gas bill. It has no way to help with gas so far, and I believe it is realizing that its position in grocery is suboptimal because premium price tag grocery stores get old quickly when the economy is down. Its driving value proposition has long been fast shipping from its vast marketplace, but Walmart+ also offers this and its marketplace reach has grown to be competitive. You can even order Trader Joe’s products through Walmart.

Patrick Jacobs
BrainTrust

This is a solid competitive move by Walmart to start changing how customers value their platform. The perks will drive new subscribers but the initiative will need a great number of new ways to justify long-term adoption. Walmart needs to fully jump into this space, and give potential customers much more than a baseline engagement/rewards program to properly acquire new subscribers.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Look, Walmart+ will increase Walmart’s subscription base, how much is the real question. This looks like the next battle in the war of attrition Walmart and Amazon are waging against each other. Consumers will be the beneficiaries in the short-run, but this has a feel of a retailing version of the Highlander. In the end, can there really be only one? Looks like that’s what both companies are thinking.

Brad Halverson
Guest

Walmart+ customers will need to experience a more than $13/mo in value+savings+ time to make this work. It will need to be obvious to stay engaged on the platform. Right now higher gas prices could help create that incentive. If/when gas prices go down further Walmart will want to add more value and features to maintain customer interest.

Mohamed Amer, PhD
BrainTrust

To attract new members, then giving them reasons to spend more with you is the secret cocktail of success. Walmart is reimagining the company’s relationship with its customers and executing programs and tactics to increase the brand’s stickiness factor, and they are succeeding.

Rachelle King
BrainTrust

Walmart is on the right track with building out this rewards program. The efforts should help with retention, especially for Walmart loyalist. There is also a fair likelihood of driving trial, but whether or not this program will pull in new customers for the long haul is a gamble.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Groceries, gas and in-home entertainment add up to a powerful package."
"The perks will drive new subscribers but the initiative will need a great number of new ways to justify long-term adoption."
"I’m one of those troglodytes who thinks that paying a monthly fee to get “free” rewards is odd. I’m clearly out of step with the rest of America."

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