By: Nick Gambino
In an e-commerce world where Amazon is king, companies like Walmart are trying to carve out a piece of the action for themselves.
Walmart’s recent decision to offer free 2-day shipping on orders of $35 or more is the latest effort to compete with the one-stop shop giant.
Amazon as you probably know already offers free 2-day shipping and, for some orders, even same-day delivery but this requires a Prime account. Otherwise you have to settle for the barbaric 5-7 day standard shipping timeframe or (gasp) pay for express delivery.
The thing that sets Walmart apart from its competitor is that you don’t need a membership to take advantage of the expedited shipping. This convenient service is available to any customer, whether you’re a regular Walmart shopper or not.
Now it’s not that 2-day shipping is new to Walmart. They started a trial run a couple of years ago with a service they called ShippingPass. This was similar to Prime in that you paid $49 a year for a membership and would have your items show up swiftly. The minimum order amount in that program was $50.
Scrapping ShippingPass and offering the benefit to any customer shopping on Walmart.com is a step in the right direction but it’ll take a lot more than that to compete with everything that Amazon has to offer. A Prime account gives you access to all the aforementioned shipping perks as well as Amazon Video (streaming) and Prime Reading (books).
Maybe, just maybe, Walmart is intending to roll out their own version of those services. Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce indicated that there was more coming down the pike, “I couldn’t be more excited. We are moving at the speed of a startup,” he stated in his announcement. “Two-day free shipping is the first of many moves we will be making to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth.”
I know I for one will start checking Walmart for any items not offered on Amazon Prime. It’s nice to have other companies taking on this same shipping model, offering a major added convenience to online shopping.