Walmart has dropped their Amazon-like ShippingPass in favor of free two-day shipping on orders costing $35 or more for everyone. ShippingPass charged a yearly fee of $49 whose members received unlimited two-day shipping on Walmart.com. The new price for everybody is for a minimum purchase of $35 – down from $50 – and you will get your purchase in two days rather than four to seven days. This change started today, and as Marc Lore, Walmart’s new US head of e-commerce stated in the press release, “in today's world of e-commerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes. It no longer makes sense to charge for it”. The new Walmart shipping option makes this a better option than what Amazon offers to non-Prime members receive with a minimum purchase of $49 for free five to eight-day shipping.
Amazon has changed the way people shop, and it is catching up to the brick and mortar stores. It is estimated as many as 44-percent of US households subscribe to Amazon Prime for a $99 annual fee that entitles those members to unlimited two-day delivery on any item. Walmart is hoping to grab the other 56-percent to shop with them, the world’s largest retailer by revenue. Many US retailers offer free shipping based on a minimum amount purchased, but very few offer free two-day shipping – other retailers offer it only after a minimum purchase and shipping can take three to five days or longer.
Walmart still has a way to catch up to Amazon when it comes to Amazon Prime that offers free music, reading, and a video library to go along with its free two-day shipping. While Walmart’s over 2 million items seem like a lot to choose from, Amazon offers many more items for free shipment. However, Walmart’s latest move is an indication of things to come with other stores likely to offer free shipping as a means to stay relevant. For those who have already purchased a $49 ShippingPass from Walmart, Lore claims you will receive a refund. Besides the convenience of ordering online, free shipping does come with additional benefits that are always going to be big selling points for consumers. Even if it is just as simple as avoiding traffic or finding a parking place.