Now, Walmart is bringing an Amazon Prime-like membership service
More than 15 years after the launch of Amazon's Prime subscription service, its competitor Walmart is set to bring its own membership - Walmart+. The offering will debut at an annual price of $98 and include a range of benefits curated for online shoppers across the US, Recode reports. Here's all you need to know about it.
Launch set for this month
Speaking to sources familiar with the developments at Walmart, Recode has learned that the retail giant is planning to launch its new 'Plus' membership later this month. Originally, the launch was planned for March-April, but then, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, forcing the company to push the launch ahead to July. It is, however, not yet clear if the launch would be nationwide or regional.
What benefits are likely to be included?
Once available, Walmart+ would directly go against Amazon's $119 Prime subscription that debuted all the way back in 2005 and currently offers several shopping benefits with free premium audio, video (movies/shows) content. The benefits bundled with Walmart+ will reportedly include unlimited same-day delivery of groceries and other merchandise, exclusive discount at Walmart gas stations, early deals, a credit card, among other things.
Prime has contributed largely to Amazon's growth
Over the years, Amazon's Prime user-base, which currently stands at over 150 million worldwide, has contributed significantly to the company's growth, making it the $1.5 trillion-worth company it is today. Meanwhile, despite the record sales due to COVID-19 panic-buying, Walmart is valued at $337 billion, with its US e-commerce business being eight times smaller than the Jeff Bezos-owned site.
Walmart's goal to maintain its leadership in groceries
Despite lagging behind in e-commerce, Walmart's grocery business is still bigger than that of Amazon. Now, with the Plus membership and its same-day grocery delivery benefits, the company hopes to maintain this lead and prevent its grocery customers from slipping into Amazon's already well-established ecosystem. There will also be options like open slot notifications, reserving delivery slots, and two-hour 'Express' delivery.
Entertainment perks also likely to be included
Even though Walmart has not commented on the plan to launch a membership program, the Recode report suggests that the company is also looking to tie-in content offerings to make the subscription more lucrative. The retail giant has mulled tie-ups with media companies for video content. However, the exact details of what the final entertainment product could be still remain unclear at this stage.