Walmart+ killed one of its worst features to compete with Amazon Prime

a woman standing in front of a brick building: Walmart + vs. Amazon Prime

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Walmart + vs. Amazon Prime

  • Walmart+ will no longer require members to spend $35 to qualify for free shipping.
  • Starting on December 4th, Walmart+ members will be able to receive free one-day or two-day shipping on any order, but this won’t apply to groceries.
  • Walmart+ fuel discounts are now available at 500 Sam’s Club locations as well.

Amazon might not have a monopoly on internet shopping, but it certainly feels like it sometimes. No other retailer has figured out how to compete with Amazon Prime, but that certainly has not stopped them from trying. In fact, America’s largest big-box retailers, Walmart, introduced its own membership program last September, and now it is getting a big boost just in time for the holidays. On Wednesday, the retailer announced that Walmart+ would be removing the $35 shipping minimum for Walmart.com orders for all of its members starting on December 4th.

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“It feels like a life hack is needed now more than ever, and Walmart+ is here to help,” Walmart CCO Janey Whiteside revealed. “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. Walmart+ is designed to make life easier – giving customers an option to not have to sacrifice on cost or convenience.”

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As of Friday, Walmart+ members will receive free one-day or two-day shipping on every order shipped by Walmart, no matter how much it costs. It is worth noting that this new perk does not apply to groceries, so you’ll still have to spend at least $35 in order to get free shipping when you buy food from the retailer’s website.

In addition to providing free shipping, the Walmart+ subscription — which costs $98 per year — also entitles members to a 5-cent-per-gallon discount on gasoline. This holiday season, Walmart is expanding the number of locations where members can use these benefits to include fuel stations at Sam’s Club stores. Members can now fill up their tanks for less at Sam’s Club, Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express fuel stations.

These changes aren’t exactly going to kill Amazon in one fell swoop, but they will make Walmart+ a more compelling alternative to Prime. The fact that you had to spend $35 in order to qualify for free shipping was a glaring weakness of the program, but now Walmart’s policy matches Amazon’s. If the brick-and-mortar retailer is going to have any chance of eating into Amazon’s market share over the holidays, especially as a viral pandemic keeps tons of Americans from even daring to venture out to stores in person, it needs to eliminate any deficiencies Walmart+ has.

Walmart+ costs $98 a year or $14.95 a month, but new memberships include a 15-day free trial period.

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