Walmart officially launched its new online membership program called Walmart+ this past month. After long awaited launch, and pushing back the rollout multiple times, Walmart is officially offering a service that rivals Amazon Prime.
So, what exactly is Walmart+?
Here is a quick look at the key benefits:
- Unlimited free delivery: In-store prices as fast as same-day on more than 160,000 items from tech and toys to household essentials and groceries. This service was previously known as Delivery Unlimited – a subscription service that allows customers to place an unlimited number of deliveries for a low, flat yearly or monthly fee. Current subscribers will automatically become Walmart+ members.
- Scan & Go: Unlock Scan & Go in the Walmart app — a fast way to shop in-store. 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.
- Fuel discounts: Fill up and save up to 5 cents a gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel stations. Currently, Sam’s Club is not part of this membership, but will be added to the lineup eventually.
How much does it cost?
The membership costs $98 a year or $12.95 a month. **includes a 15 day free trial period.
If you want to sign up go here.
Why does this matter? (more specifically, “does this matter”?)
Walmart continues to invest in e-commerce, especially over the last few years. Purchasing multiple online retailers (jet.com, Moosejaw, etc), re-aligning merchandising organization to meet new omnichannel demands for buying, and recently trying to get a stake in TikTok.
All of these efforts made by Walmart do in fact matter. Walmart is still the biggest brick-and-mortar retailer in the world, but in order for them to stay at the top they have to get online right. The investments and changes are definitely putting the right foot forward …. Only time will tell how impactful they will be!
“We are a company committed to meeting our customers’ needs,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart. “Customers know they can trust us and depend on us, and we’ve designed this program as the ultimate life hack for them. Walmart+ will bring together a comprehensive set of benefits where we see the greatest needs from our customers and where our scale can bring solutions at an unprecedented value.”v
To finish, let’s take a quick look at a side by side comparison of Walmart+ and Amazon Prime.
Walmart+ vs. Amazon Prime:
Amazon Prime launched in 2005 and has grown to 150 million members globally in those 15 years. On the back of that, the online retailer has been able to generate a valuation of $1.75 trillion. Walmart sits at just $419 billion – less than a quarter of Amazon's valuation.
Yet Walmart remains the bigger overall revenue driver and largest US employer with an unmatched brick-and-mortar retail operation. Walmart+ marks a major shift in its lagging online and delivery strategy.
Amazon still makes up roughly 38% of all online sales, per a study done by eMarketer earlier this year. (for comparison, Walmart is at 5.8%!)
As the retail landscape continues to change – especially Post-COVID – it will be very interesting to see how the Walmart+ membership plays out. Will it help Walmart continue to gain share of online sales? Will shoppers be happy with the benefits? Will consumers use both Prime and Walmart+? Let’s find out!