It’s being reported that Walmart is rolling out its own loyalty program to rival Amazon Prime as soon as next month. Called Walmart+ the program will start as a rebrand of Walmart’s current Grocery Unlimited program, where shoppers pay USD98 a year for unlimited free full-basket grocery delivery from one of Walmart’s 1,600+ enabled stores. The plan is to add perks rapidly, such as discounts on prescriptions at Walmart pharmacies and fuel at Walmart gas stations, as well as a scan and go service that Walmart currently only employs at its Sam’s Club stores.
Walmart shuttered a previous USD50 per year membership program that offered free two day delivery in 2015, citing that this was table stakes at the time. It has since come to offer one-day and next-day delivery, in a bid to compete with the delivery speed perks of Amazon Prime, which now boasts 150 million members worldwide. The free delivery of perishable groceries at Walmart’s everyday low prices will be a key component of the Walmart+ program. This is something Amazon will struggle to match in an economically sustainable way and will increasingly onboard more shoppers into the wider Walmart ecommerce marketplace.
Brands should see this news as positive for Walmart’s future direction as a strong ecommerce competitor to Amazon. Utilization and expertise around Walmart’s new media platform, and nimbleness to handle the current shifting org structure of Walmart’s buying teams will be important for success going forward here.
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