Need to Know
- Walmart has outlined the plans for Walmart+, a service similar to Amazon Prime that costs a flat fee to subscribe to and offers certain perks and amenities.
- Walmart+ will cost $98 per year and include same-day delivery of groceries and other merchandise, fuel discounts at Walmart’s gas stations, and early access to different product deals.
- Half of Walmart’s top-spending families have Amazon Prime subscriptions according to a recent report.
- The service will likely launch later this month, though it is unclear if it will roll out across the entire U.S. or just within a few test markets.
- The retailer originally planned to launch the service in March or April but delayed plans due to COVID-19.
More details regarding Walmart’s Amazon Prime rival Walmart+ have surfaced, including a rumored launch date. According to multiple reports, the service will roll out later this month, though it is currently unclear if it will debut across the country or within select markets.
Walmart+ is a service dedicated to frequent Walmart shoppers, offering a host of rewards and perks that will entice consumers to make use of Walmart’s expanding suite of offerings. It will be priced at $98 per year, and among the perks, the largest one seems to be free same-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise.
The price point may seem familiar to Walmart superfans—it is the same as its Delivery Unlimited service that expanded across the U.S. in late 2019. That service offered free grocery delivery and cut out the typical $9.99 fee, so if users ordered more than twice a month, they would easily make up the total.
Walmart+ offers more than just free grocery delivery, though. Subscribers will access fuel discounts at Walmart gas stations and early access to product deals, most likely surrounding Black Friday. Access to a Scan & Go service that lets users check out without waiting in line is expected to be included, and a Walmart+ branded credit card will also roll out eventually. Walmart also has access to local sellers through a recent partnership with Shopify.
The new service draws the most comparisons to Amazon’s mega-successful Amazon Prime program, which provides free shipping for Whole Foods and Amazon products as well as access to Prime Day deals and the Prime Video streaming service. Amazon Prime has over 150 million subscribers and is priced at $119 annually.
Currently half of Walmart’s top-spending families also have Amazon Prime subscriptions, according to recent reports. This figure alone could have incentivized Walmart to launch a similar service and tap into a billion-dollar subscription market.
Interestingly enough, Walmart also has plans to add a video entertainment function to the subscription, and other features could also follow suit. The most likely area to focus is health—Walmart recently acquired digital health technology from CareZone to handle online prescriptions and scan insurance cards and prescription drug labels to see what medicine may be covered.