Walmart rolls out free two-day shipping in jab at Amazon

Walmart's no stranger to taking on Amazon; last year, for example, the retailer announced a flat-rate unlimited shipping option called ShippingPass that undercut Amazon Prime at $50/year while offering a similar level of convenience. Now the company is stepping up its game, revealing plans to offer free two-day shipping to customers who prefer ordering online rather than visiting a store; a $49/year ShippingPass subscription will be required.

ShippingPass, up until today, gave subscribers three-day shipping on goods, making it more attractive than Amazon Prime in terms of yearly costs, but not quite as attractive when it comes to getting your goods ASAP. That has changed, at least for customers in regions where two-day shipping is available; that availability is determined in part by what regional delivery partners Walmart can drum up, and it'll no doubt expand in the future.

Walmart hasn't made it clear where two-day shipping is available — whether it currently covers all the regions where ShippingPass is available, or if it is limited to smaller regions. You can check whether ShippingPass is available in your city here. In its present state, Walmart has 80 stores, 8 big fulfillment centers, and 150+ distribution centers participating in its e-commerce business.

According to the ShippingPass website, there are no "minimum order requirements or shipping distance ... ShippingPass provides unlimited nationwide shipping." For now, though, you'll need to enter your email address and zip code, and you'll be added to a waiting list; once two-day is available in your area, you'll get an invitation to sign up.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal