Walmart has announced a change to its shipping rates in order to better compete with the Prime service offered by its rival, Amazon. The company will discontinue its subscription-based ShippingPass in favor of free two-day shipping, with a couple of caveats.
Free two-day shipping will be available for more than two million items, according to a report from The Verge. The list of eligible products includes staples like baby necessities, pet food, cleaning supplies, and more.
However, there’s a catch — there’s a $35 minimum spending requirement in order for a purchase to qualify for free shipping. Customers can also opt for same-day pickup of non-grocery items at one of 4,600 stores around the country, which is also free, and doesn’t carry any kind of minimum spending requirement.
ShippingPass was introduced almost two years ago, and offered Walmart customers free two-day shipping in exchange for an annual membership fee of $49. The president and CEO of Walmart U.S. ecommerce described free two-day shipping as “table stakes” in a press release published by the company, adding that “it no longer makes sense to charge for it.”
It’s clear that ShippingPass couldn’t offer a similar value to Amazon Prime, which is much more expensive at $99 per year, but includes added benefits like a streaming video library and one-day shipping when possible. Free two-day shipping as standard sounds good on paper, but the selection of products that are eligible will be crucial.
The shift from a subscription service to free shipping is a big change for Walmart’s online storefront, and it seems that further adjustments are set to be implemented over the next few months. Lore stated that this tweak is “the first of many moves we will be making to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth.”
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