Walmart takes on Amazon with flat-rate unlimited shipping option

Amazon Prime is enticing to some because of the discounts it offers on shipping, including a free option for those who spring for the $99/year subscription plan. Wal-Mart, it would seem, has felt the crunch because of this and will be challenging it. The company recently announced it will be offering a new unlimited shipping option for those who shop online, doing so with a flat-rate price of $50 per year. With this, the products will take up to three days to arrive, just a touch longer than Amazon Prime's two-day shipping.

Walmart revealed the information to the Associated Press, saying that the subscription service will cost $50/year and will give those who prefer to do their shopping online unlimited shipping for the next year.

This is said to come at a time when Walmart is seeing its online shopping numbers decrease, no doubt due in part to the proliferation of Amazon and its myriad of perks. This is a test service on Walmart's part, and is said to be partly in response to customer demands.

For now, at least, this shipping option will be invitation-only, though it appears to apply to all items offered by Walmart Online. It's not clear when the feature will open up to general availability. There's some hinting that in the future Walmart may offer streaming content, though customer feedback during this test is ultimately shaping the company's efforts.

SOURCE: Associated Press