Walmart Plus takes on Amazon Prime with a $ 98-year membership fee

A truck Walmart drove freight down the highway near Fredericksburg, Texas.

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Walmart has seen its e-commerce business grow in a big way Coronavirus Epidemic, millions of people have avoided going to stores. The big box retailer is now helping to double its ambitious e-retail targets to expand online and enable shoppers to get digital orders faster.

On Monday, Walmart said it is building its e-commerce membership program, which competes with Amazon Prime to include more goods and more perks for orders of at least $ 35, And provides cashierless checkout facility at Walmart. Application. The program is called First Delivery unlimited And focused on groceries, the Walmart Plus will be renamed and you’ll find many items at the Walmart store, including toys, electronics and household essentials such as cleaners and toothpastes.

All delivery unlimited customers will be transitioned to the new program, priced at $ 98 per year or $ 12.95 per month. Walmart Plus, which was expected to launch earlier this year, Will be available on 15 September in the US.

“We designed the event as the ultimate life hack,” Walmart’s chief customer officer Jenny Whitside said during a press call on Monday.

The Bolstard membership program should help Walmart continue its rapid growth in e-commerce, where it has already become the second largest online seller in the US, but remains well behind Amazon. Last month, Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said that e-commerce sales nearly doubled in its latest quarter, as more customers used curbside pickups and other online services.

While these are clearly positives for the company as it is a billion-dollar expense pushed into e-commerce, Walmart Plus should face a tough comparison with Amazon Prime, a 15-year-old program More than 150 million users And a long list of benefits. Those allowances include Prime Video Library, Amazon fresh Grocery delivery and No delivery minimum For many low-priced items. Prime is a more expensive option, $ 119 per year.

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When asked about Prime, Whitside said, “We are not launching Walmart Plus with the intention of competing with anything else.” “We are launching it to meet the needs of our customers.”

This is not the first push Walmart has made to a membership program, which is now closed ShippingPass And jetblock programs. Delivery Unlimited was also widely expanded. Whitside said that Walmart has learned a lot from those past events and used the best parts of them for Walmart Plus.

Allowances will include faster shipping, delivery for 160,000 items members will arrive faster in a single day at no additional cost. Orders must be at least $ 35, the same minimum as delivery unlimited. Nonmembers currently receive two-day delivery for millions of items on orders of $ 35 or more. Free same-day delivery is also available to nonmembers but only in specific zip codes.

In-store shoppers will also have access to a “Scan and Go” feature that allows them to scan items from their phones and pay for them using Walmart Pay, allowing them to avoid the checkout line. Walmart was conducting a similar test Cashierless technology In Sam’s Club Store since 2018. These types of contactless payments are especially useful during epidemics to help customers avoid touching payment terminals and other shared surfaces.

Additionally, Walmart is offering fuel discounts of up to 5 cents a gallon at approximately 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel locations. Sam’s club stations will soon be added to that list.

Neil Saunders, an analyst with research firm GlobalData, said on Tuesday that I believe they are going to do something else to entice people, because it is not a bad program but a great program. “When you look at Amazon Prime, it’s just light-years ahead.”

He said that Walmart would face a tough fight against “membership fatigue”, as shoppers had already budgeted for Prime, Costco, Spotify, Netflix and a lot of other services.

By that point, Whitside said there would be more benefits for Walmart Plus, although she avoided offering any special offers. He said the program was designed specifically for the US market, and declined to say if there were any plans to expand it internationally.