Both Walmart and Amazon stand tall as two of the world’s largest commerce stores, providing everything to shoppers from clothing and power tools to electronics and groceries. In the digital era, Amazon took a strong lead with its Prime offering, allowing consumers to enroll in a membership to obtain unique benefits such as free shipping. Walmart has introduced its competitor, Walmart+, which includes its own set of enhanced shopping benefits. But, which is better — Amazon Prime or Walmart+?
Online shopping and delivery
If Amazon Prime is famous for anything, it’s fast shipping speeds. While most Amazon products sold with Prime offer free two-day delivery, Amazon has also introduced free one-day and same-day shipping for select items with a Prime membership. Walmart+ sets its sights on Amazon by offering unlimited free delivery as long as you spend at least $35 — Amazon has no such minimum. Walmart claims delivery as fast as same-day, but not all of its participating locations offer such speed.
Thanks to Amazon’s ownership of Whole Foods, you can opt for two-hour delivery on groceries, including fresh foods and produce. This beats out Walmart’s delivery time in most situations if food is what you are seeking. When it comes to shopping and delivery, Walmart+ is off to a great start with free same-day delivery. Still, Amazon’s vast selection, fast delivery options, and no minimum order total pull ahead for a win.
Digital membership benefits
This next fight almost doesn’t seem fair, as Walmart+ doesn’t offer any additional digital benefits beyond shopping at home — and Amazon Prime offers a boat-load of extras. We need to look closer.
On the entertainment side, a Prime membership includes access to Prime Video, Amazon’s digital video streaming service offering thousands of movies and TV shows, and Prime Music, which allows you to stream over 2 million songs on-demand at no cost. Prime members can also upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited with a more extensive music library for a 20% discount off the regular fee.
Amazon Prime also includes benefits in the world of video games with Prime offerings. One of them is FreeTime Unlimited, an add-on that costs $2.99 but gives children access to thousands of kid-friendly games, videos, and educational content. For the older kids and adults in the house who enjoy video games, Prime includes free downloadable game content every month and a free Twitch channel subscription.
If reading is more your forte, Prime also includes Prime Reading, a service that gives you unlimited access to more than a thousand e-books, magazines, comics, and more — all can be accessed on a wide array of devices thanks to the Kindle app. Prime members also receive a free book every month to keep via the Amazon First Reads program and choose from select four-month magazine subscriptions for only $1.
Amazon Prime doesn’t even possess a single scratch when it comes to digital benefits, and Walmart+ has forfeited by default due to its lack of any offerings within this category. It’s hard to deny that an Amazon Prime membership offers quite a few attractive digital benefits.
Amazon does offer a few physical stores (with Amazon.com price-matching for Prime members) in the form of Amazon 4-Star, Amazon Books, Amazon Go, and Amazon Pop Up, but locations are limited. Prime members also receive exclusive savings when shopping at Whole Foods and receive 5% back when using the company’s Rewards Visa Signature Card.
Amazon also helps to offset its lack of physical stores by providing benefits such as Prime Wardrobe, where you can try on clothes, shoes, and jewelry, then pay only for what you keep, and Amazon Family, a benefit for families that gives you up to 20% off diapers and 15% off other eligible products.
Of course, with a Walmart+ membership, you can stop in at any local Walmart store and begin shopping, a task that is made easier with the included Mobile Scan & Go feature, allowing you to shop and check out with your smartphone. Additionally, if you’ve ever fueled up your vehicle at a Walmart or Murphy gas station, you’ll be happy to know that Walmart+ includes a 5-cents-per-gallon savings, with over 1,500 locations to access.
Amazon Prime is a strong contender, but when it comes to physical locations, Walmart wins out thanks to its arsenal of stores around the globe, making it easy to stop in and check out with your smartphone. Additionally, Walmart +’s inclusion of gas savings at select stations is an excellent benefit drivers will appreciate.
Pricing and availability
Amazon Prime is currently available in over 17 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. An Amazon Prime membership will cost you $13 a month, with students receiving a discount down to $6.50 a month. Amazon also allows Prime to be charged annually at a rate of $120. While most Amazon Prime features are available despite location, some services such as same-day delivery and Whole Foods delivery may be unavailable in your area.
Walmart+ will cost you either $13 a month or $100 a year, depending on whether you wish to pay monthly or annually. Walmart notes that it has 4,700 stores in the U.S., and 2,700 will provide same-day delivery services.
Thanks to Walmart’s physical presence, the commerce giant should have no trouble growing its membership offering, but Amazon Prime remains the champion for the time being. Not only do Amazon Prime members gain access to free shipping with as quick as same-day delivery, but the extra included digital benefits help to tip the scale.
As Walmart+ grows, we look forward to what it may offer, but if you’re looking to spend money on a shopping membership, we believe you’ll gain the most with Amazon Prime.
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