Walmart Plus will launch on September 15. The new membership program, designed to compete with Amazon Prime, will offer customers in-store and online benefits as well as a host of ways to save money.
Members will receive unlimited free delivery from Walmart stores and fuel discounts from participating gas stations. The service will cost $98 a year or $12.95 a month and it’ll include a free 15-day trial period. Current members of Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited service will automatically be enrolled in Walmart Plus.
In the meantime, shoppers can now sign up for a free 15-day trial via Walmart’s website. Otherwise, here’s everything we know about Walmart Plus and how it compares to Amazon Prime.
Walmart Plus launch date
The Walmart Plus launch date will be September 15. Although it was originally supposed to be in the spring, the pandemic delayed its debut. However, it’s mid-September debut should make it helpful for consumers looking to do some early holiday shopping.
Walmart Plus membership
Walmart Plus membership will cost $98 per year or $12.95 per month. (It’ll include a free 15-day trial period which you can sign up for now). The membership program — which is Walmart’s version of Amazon Prime — is a rebranding of Walmart’s $98-per-year Grocery Unlimited service. The grocery delivery service launched last year and quickly expanded to 1,400 additional stores in September of 2019.
However, Walmart Plus will not only include savings on groceries. It’ll also include tech, beauty, and sports products.
Walmart Plus price
The official Walmart Plus price is $98 per year. This makes Walmart Plus cheaper than Amazon Prime, which costs $119 per year. Alternatively, shoppers can opt to pay $12.95 per month for Walmart Plus. By comparison, Amazon Prime’s month-to-month price is $12.99.
Walmart Plus perks
Walmart Plus will launch with an initial list of benefits that will grow with time. Currently the Walmart Plus benefits include:
- Unlimited free delivery: Customers will receive as fast as same-day delivery on more than 160,000 items including tech, toys, household essentials, and groceries.
- Scan & Go: This feature in the Walmart app will allow for a faster 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 and touch-free payment experience.
- Fuel discounts: Walmart Plus members will be able to save up to 5 cents per gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express fuel stations. Sam’s Club fuel stations will also be added to the lineup.
Not surprisingly, Amazon recently announced the addition of Prime Gaming to its roster of digital perks. The perk, available to Prime members only, is essentially a rebranded Twitch Prime. However, the name change make it easier to identify as an exclusive Prime member perk and helps add value to Amazon’s service. For its part, it’s unclear if Walmart Prime will have any gaming perks.
Furthermore, it’s no secret that Walmart and Amazon price match each other, especially on retail holidays like Amazon Prime Day. The renewed rivalry could make for excellent deals once Walmart Plus officially launches, especially now that Prime Day has been officially delayed by Amazon.
Walmart Plus vs. Amazon Prime
At the start of 2020, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated that there are over 150 million paid Prime members around the world. That’s a number that Walmart Plus is certainly hoping to reach.
Once the country’s top retailer, Walmart has watched as its rival Amazon has dominated online sales. Amazon now accounts for roughly 38% of all online retail sales in the U.S., according to eMarketer. By comparison, Walmart is a distant second place with just over 5% of the U.S. e-commerce market. The hope is that Walmart Plus will help it take some of that market share from Amazon.
This isn’t the first time Walmart has taken on Amazon Prime. In 2015, Walmart launched ShippingPass, an unlimited online shipping service that cost $50 per year and promised deliveries in three days or less. This was Walmart’s attempt to undercut Amazon Prime, which at the time cost $99 per year. Two years later, Walmart dropped its membership fee and switched to a 2-day free shipping program on orders of $35 or more.
However, Walmart’s biggest chest thump came in 2016, when it purchased Jet.com for $3 billion. The hope was that Jet.com would help Walmart establish a bigger online presence. (Walmart announced last month that it was permanently closing Jet.com).
The Walmart vs. Amazon feud continued into 2019. Just as Amazon announced its plans to offer 1-day shipping, Walmart followed suit with its own 1-day shipping pilot. Most recently, Walmart announced 2-hour Express delivery for an additional $10 over Walmart’s typical delivery fees.
Even on big retailer days like Black Friday, Walmart has shadowed Amazon with similar sales of its own like last holiday’s Big Drop Sale. Walmart Plus is an extension of this ongoing battle and only time will tell if it’s the true knockout punch that it needs to take on Amazon and its legion of subscribers.
This article originally ran on tomsguide.com.
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