Walmart, the America-based retail giant unveils its all new shipping tactic scraping off competition from its arch-nemesis, Amazon Prime. Starting from today, WalMart will offer two-day guaranteed free shipping of over 2 million essential items present in the store inventories. Moreover, the delivery will be done to the customers without the need of any membership fee.
The action taken by Walmart comes as a strong response to Amazon’s membership program. Under its Prime service, a customer has to pay $99 a year and includes services like streaming music and video alongside. The company provides faster and free delivery of products to its Prime members without any minimum billing standard. Viewing the massive growth attained by Amazon due to its Prime plan (estimated around 65 million) and budding threat in hand, Walmart has released its free 2-day shipping plan.
Unlike Amazon, Walmart customers need not pay any subscription fee though a minimum billing of $35 will be required. The company previously asked a minimum invoice of $50, which has been reduced significantly. This logistics plan has been launched by the company following its $3 billion acquisition of Jet.com.The e-commerce platform previously worked on a shipping pass model.
A Jet.com customer holding a shipping pass needed to pay an annual price of $49 and got their products delivered free within 3 days. But with the movement of loads of inventory to seven fulfillment warehouses across the country, the company reduced the gap to 2-days, the last spring.
The company’s new shipping process means going away from the shipping pass. Walmart says that it will refund the membership fee to all its customers, who have subscribed to the said service, within a month. The company announced the news via its blog which stated,
Today we’re announcing free two-day shipping to home and to stores on more than two million items, without a membership fee. These items make up the vast majority of what customers buy online.
In today’s world of e-commerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes. It no longer makes sense to charge for it. We believe this is the most compelling all-around value proposition for customers looking for low prices, a broad assortment and quick shipping.
This development marks the very first huge shift in operations under Walmart’s new CEO Mark Lore, who joined the company past year. Though Lore declined to comment over the fresh perils of Amazon’s Prime plan, he mentioned in the blog post,
Now that we’ve checked the two-day shipping box, my focus is on leveraging our unique assets and network to serve customers in innovative ways that only Walmart can.
The sales for the retailing corporation are expected to increase post the decision. The company might as well secure its lost customers over the last couple of years. The service will not only create utility in terms of time but also relief the pockets of customers. However, Walmart clearly states that free and faster shipping will not be offered on products lying beyond the boundaries of the essential range of items.