Compete head-to-head with Amazon in the e-commerce arena? It might be crazy, but that’s not stopping Walmart.
Today, Walmart announced its latest attempt at leveling the playing field, and it looks like it came straight out of Amazon’s playbook: free two-day shipping on more than two million products.
It looks like Amazon Prime, but there are a few twists:
- Walmart isn’t charging a membership fee. Amazon Prime is $99 per year, or $10.99 per month.
- Walmart requires a minimum $35 purchase to get free two-day shipping. Amazon Prime has no minimum purchase level.
- Walmart’s offer covers about two million items. Amazon Prime reportedly includes 40 million items.
Of course, Amazon offers Prime members several other benefits beyond free two-day shipping: free same-day delivery in certain areas, free two-hour delivery in some areas via its Prime Now product, unlimited media streaming via Prime Video and Prime Music, Amazon Dash button ordering and more.
Prime has been a huge success for Amazon. Analysts estimate that Prime has 65 million members in the US who spend $1,200 per year with Amazon — about double what non-Prime customers spend. One recent survey revealed that 30 percent of Prime members place at least one order per week from Amazon.
Marc Lore, Walmart’s head of US e-commerce, says today’s shipping announcement “is the first of many moves we will be making to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth.” He also called free two-day shipping “table stakes” in today’s e-commerce landscape. Lore is the co-founder of Jet.com, the e-commerce startup that Walmart bought last year.
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