Can Walmart’s New Membership Service Compete With Amazon Prime?

Food & Drink

Walmart announced today that it plans to launch a new membership service called Walmart+ that will be open to customers on Sept. 15. The subscription service will cost $98 per year and offer both online and in-store benefits. Although Walmart states it is not competing with Amazon Prime, consumers will compare the two services.

“Members will receive unlimited free delivery from stores, fuel discounts and access to tools that make shopping faster for families. Membership will be available to all customers on Sept. 15. It will cost $98 a year or $12.95 a month and includes a 15-day free trial period. In the future, the company will leverage its wide-ranging strengths to add additional benefits for members in a variety of services and offerings,” Walmart shared.  

Walmart+ will offer unlimited free delivery, which used to be the Delivery Unlimited subscription service. Anyone who is currently subscribed to Delivery Unlimited will become a Walmart+ member automatically. It is important to note that Walmart still requires a $35 minimum order to receive free delivery with the new service.

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The new subscription service will also include Scan & Go inside the Walmart app. “Using the Walmart app, customers can scan their items as they shop and pay using Walmart Pay for a quick, easy, touch-free payment experience,” Walmart explained.  

Despite Walmart’s denials, consumers will continue to compare its subscription service to Amazon Prime. There are many differences between the two companies’ models, such as the fuel discounts available on Walmart+ and streaming movies on Amazon Prime. Compared to Walmart’s $98 per year fee, Amazon Prime costs $119 per year or $12.99 per month.

Walmart does not seem interested in competing with Amazon’s media offerings at this time. Instead, its focus is on grocery sales, which have exceeded Amazon during the coronavirus pandemic. A survey found that Walmart had 30% of online grocery sales while Amazon had 27.1%.

Walmart also plans to continue its other services for consumers who do not want to pay for a subscription fee. “These benefits come in addition to the retailer’s existing customer offerings like Walmart’s free curbside pickup, NextDay delivery and two-day delivery. Walmart will continue to have delivery options with a per-delivery transaction fee so customers can choose the service that’s best for them,” Walmart shared.

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