Will Walmart’s best shoppers ditch Amazon Prime for Walmart+?
More than half of Walmart’s top customers have Amazon Prime memberships. Walmart wants them all to itself.
Vox’s Recode reports that the nation’s largest retailer is getting set to officially launch Walmart+, a rebranding of its Delivery Unlimited Grocery service with additional perks. The service, expected to go live this month, was originally set to launch in March or April but was pushed back due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The annual subscription program will cost $98, which covers unlimited same-day deliveries of groceries and general merchandise goods from the retailer’s supercenters. Subscribers will be able to reserve delivery time slots and receive notifications of open availability. As a Walmart+ member, they will also have limited access to the retailer’s Express two-hour service, which offers delivery of more than 160,000 products — from grocery and general merchandise to electronics and toys — a perk that costs non-members $10 tacked onto the chain’s standard $7.95 to $9.95 fee.
Other perks of the program will include discounts on fuel purchased at Walmart gas stations, early access to promotional deals on products and a Scan & Go service that would allow members to check out when shopping at the chain’s stores without having to wait in line. Subscribers are also expected to eventually be able to make use of a Walmart+ branded credit card with additional rewards.
The Walmart+ initiative is said to be a priority for the retailer’s chief customer officer Janey Whiteside. The company’s CEO Doug McMillon, Recode reports, has been actively engaged in the project’s planning.
Walmart’s image has been burnished by its ability, primarily in grocery, to keep American household pantries stocked during the pandemic, even as Amazon’s vaunted supply chain was seen to slip up.
Research by Activate Consulting found that page views on Walmart.com were up 91 percent in April, with unique site visitors up nine percent during the month. Walmart posted a 10 percent gain in U.S. same-store sales during its fiscal first quarter as online revenues jumped 74 percent.
- Walmart’s Amazon Prime competitor will launch in July – Recode
- Will a new subscription program be Walmart’s winning answer to Amazon Prime? – RetailWire
- Will Walmart’s customers pay $10 more to get deliveries in two hours? – RetailWire
- Has the pandemic transformed Walmart into an unstoppable force? – RetailWire
- Amazon’s traffic is way up, but others are doing even better during the pandemic – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How important is it for Walmart’s business to attract the 50 percent of its most important customers who have Amazon Prime memberships to the Walmart+ plan? Do you think Americans will likely choose between Prime and Walmart+ or join both?