Will ending minimum purchases turn Walmart+ into a serious Amazon Prime rival?
Walmart announced that members of its Walmart+ subscription plan will no longer be required to make a $35 minimum purchase to qualify for free next-day and two-day shipping on online orders.
“Customers have been clear — they want this benefit,” Walmart’s chief customer officer Janey Whiteside said in a statement. “Being able to toss an item into your cart, regardless the total, and check out right away lets them knock little things off their to do list in no time.”
Subscribers, who pay $98 a year to join the program, will still have to meet a $35 minimum to qualify for free, unlimited same-day deliveries of groceries and general merchandise from the chain’s supercenters.
“No other membership allows customers across the country to get everything from gingerbread cookies and eggnog to holiday decorations and toys delivered for free as soon as the same day,” said Ms. Whiteside. “Walmart+ is designed to make life easier — giving customers an option to not have to sacrifice on cost or convenience.”
Walmart also announced that it is expanding its fuel discount program for Walmart+ members. The retailer added gas stations at its Sam’s Clubs across the country in addition to more than 2,000 of its namesake, Murphy USA and Murphy Express locations.
Members will also be able to continue using the retailer’s Scan and Go technology in stores to checkout using their smartphones.
The additional perks to Walmart+ are part of the retailer’s plans to continue offering greater value to members. Many see the program as Walmart’s answer to Amazon Prime. Research has shown that more than half of the retailer’s top customers are members of the rival retailer’s program. Walmart has ramped up hiring, doubling the number of associates in the U.S. this year, to help it fulfill online orders.
“Over time, we’ll evaluate the program against our broader set of assets with the aim of improving the value proposition and deepening our relationship with customers, including earning a greater share of wallet,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on the retailer’s third quarter earnings call last month.
- Walmart+ Putting Something Extra Under the Tree for Members, Removing Shipping Minimum on Walmart.com Orders – Walmart
- Walmart’s (WMT) CEO Doug McMillon on Q3 2021 Results (Earnings Call Transcript) – Seeking Alpha
- Will Walmart’s best shoppers ditch Amazon Prime for Walmart+? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will the removal of a purchase minimum aid Walmart’s push to add members to its Walmart+ program? How does Walmart+ affect the company’s ability to compete with retailers not named Amazon?