Modern economic theories revolve around digital retail, and Amazon has been the undisputed champion of eCommerce for several years, particularly due to the Amazon Prime service. Prime is an annual subscription that offers fast, free shipping on an incredible selection of items, as well as access to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service and Prime Gaming for all members.
Hoping to compete with Amazon Prime on the eCommerce and home delivery fronts, Walmart has launched a similar program called Walmart Plus. Walmart has been an inarguable economic powerhouse as a brick-and-mortar retailer in the United States. Still, its online shopping experience has paled in comparison to the Amazon platform and the value of the Amazon Prime subscription.
Walmart Plus vs. Amazon Prime: What Does Walmart Plus Include?
Walmart Plus launched on September 15th, 2020, with an annual subscription fee of $98, or a little over $8 per month. Subscribers will enjoy several benefits, including:
- Free same-day home delivery for many items available from more than half of its 4,700 retail stores. This service aims to compete with the free two-day shipping offered by Amazon Prime by leveraging the physical presence of all Walmart retail locations throughout the country.
- Fuel discounts from Walmart and Murphy gas stations. Members will have access to exclusive prices at over 1,500 locations across the U.S.
- Instant checkout from physical Walmart locations without having to wait in line. Much like the proposed “register-free” experiences offered at Amazon’s physical locations, the Walmart Plus subscription service allows members to complete purchases at brick-and-mortar Walmart stores digitally, with no need to wait for a cashier to check out.
Amazon has already established a commanding lead in the online retail and home delivery markets and officially surpassed Walmart as the world’s biggest retailer in 2019. The launch of the Walmart Plus shopping membership is an attempt to regain lost ground and offer existing customers better, faster experiences with Walmart. Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside touted the new service as the “ultimate life hack,” and promised that members could look forward to additional features and benefits to be added to the program soon.
What Does This Mean for Online Retail?
Whenever retailers compete, customers tend to benefit the most from their competition. Walmart Plus aims to steal market share from Amazon, and it has the resources and infrastructure on the ground to pull it off if it’s executed well. American shoppers will have the ability to complete Walmart purchases as easily as they buy from Amazon. However, the omnipresence of Walmart’s physical locations in the U.S. will mean much faster shipping.
Ultimately, consumers will have even more choice when it comes to how they purchase the items they use every day when Walmart Plus launches. Pretty soon, product marketers that have focused on the Amazon platform will need to readjust their efforts to account for the Walmart Plus membership base, which is expected to grow rapidly.
Zero Gravity Marketing can help you refine your eCommerce marketing strategy, so you’re ready for the changes Walmart Plus is sure to bring to your industry. Contact us today to learn more about how you can best prepare your brand!