Walmart+, the long-awaited membership program of the world’s largest supermarket chain, is due to be launched this month. It should be an alternative to Amazon Prime.
Various American sources report that Walmart+ will finally go live this month. And although the news has not been officially confirmed by the supermarket chain, this ‘teaser’ website does show that the launch is very soon.
Walmart+ is a new member programme that builds on the existing Delivery Unlimited programme. Anyone who is a member of that programme currently gets all groceries delivered to their home free of charge on the day of ordering for an annual fee of 98 dollars (approximately 86 euros). Delivery Unlimited was launched last year and quickly expanded to 1400 retail outlets.
It is expected that the new loyalty program will extend existing services to other product groups such as sporting goods, personal care products and electronics. In addition, members would also receive discounts at the supermarket chain’s petrol stations or pharmacies and would have earlier access to promotions, Vox writes. It is not clear how much the new service will cost, but certain sources, such as Tom’s Guide, suggest that Walmart would stick to the 98 dollar price. This would make Walmart+ cheaper than Amazon Prime, for which members pay 119 dollar (105 euros) annually.
Delay due to corona
Originally, the supermarket chain wanted to launch the membership programme as early as March-April, but the plans were delayed due to the outbreak of the corona crisis. For the retailer this was a bitter pill to swallow, because it was precisely this crisis that gave e-commerce an enormous boost all over the world. As a result of the delay, Walmart+ may have missed a flying start. Nevertheless, Walmart saw online sales increase by no less than 74% in the past quarter.
According to the latest known figures, Walmart’s e-commerce business is about eight times smaller than Amazon’s. And Amazon Prime plays a crucial role in that. More than half of Walmart’s best customers are now members of Amazon Prime. That fact immediately poses the biggest threat to the American supermarket chain.