Walmart has fired yet volley at Amazon. Barely two years after it launched it, Walmart is killing its two-day ShippingPass service. But rising from its ashes is an offer that would give online shoppers pause. Still offering that same two-day shipping, Walmart’s new service won’t charge you shipping fees at all. And even better, you don’t even have to be a member of some exclusive club to avail of that convenience. Free and subscription free, your groceries, toiletries, and toys will be there at your door (or at a store) in two-days flat.
Of course, there’s always a catch. There’s still a minimum purchase to avail of this free shipping, but, if you’re doing groceries, the new $35 minimum probably isn’t going to hurt much. Previously, Walmart set the minimum at a higher $50. The new 35 is considerably lower than the $49 that Amazon requires for free shipping, and even then it can take days for the order to arrive.
Walmart’s new offer is aimed squarely at Amazon Prime. Or rather, those who aren’t yet Prime members. Only these members can enjoy free two-day shipping without a minimum purchase, but they do pay $99 a year for that privilege. Walmart, however, believes that charging for two-day shipping, whether for shipping fee or a membership fee, no longer make sense in this e-commerce age.
That said, Amazon Prime offers something that Walmart can’t. In addition to shopping perks, Prime members also have privileged access to Amazon’s wealth of digital content, which Walmart will probably never be able to match. So that $99 fee really earns you a lot.
Walmart’s free, subscription-free two-day shipping covers everything from household essentials to pet food to gadgets. The minimum purchase requirement is waived if the items are being shipped to stores instead of the shopper’s doorstep.