Walmart to offer free two-day shipping without a membership

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The retail giant will offer free two-day shipping without a membership.

Walmart is giving up on its Prime competitor, ShippingPass, less than a year after it launched, replacing it with a subscription-free two-day shipping plan.

The new solution will allow anyone to purchase from Walmart’s website and receive free shipping as long as they spend over $35.

That tops Amazon’s non-Prime rules, which require a purchase of over $49 to qualify for free shipping with expedited delivery costing extra.

Walmart hasn’t declared ShippingPass a failure, but it appears to have had a change of heart since launching the idea in June last year.

“In this day and age, two-day shipping is really just table stakes—people shouldn’t have to pay for it and certainly not a membership,” said Walmart’s eCommerce President Marc Lore.

The statement suggests a fundamental shift in Walmart’s target audience, and how it plans to go after Amazon. Instead of going after its dedicated Prime members (Prime has a 90 percent year over year renewal percentage), Walmart is aiming for those without Prime, and giving them one of the biggest benefits of Amazon’s subscription service for free.

But the Arkansas-based corporation has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to regain its title from Amazon as the world’s biggest retailer by market value. The company’s e-commerce sales in 2015 totaled about $14 billion. Amazon’s sales hit $107 billion in the same year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Amazon also sells 20 times more products eligible for Prime than what Walmart offers for two-day shipping. 

This new pricing plan is just the latest in a string of ways Walmart hopes to compete with its online counterpart. With its head of e-commerce saying two-day shipping is just table stakes, it probably won’t be long before they start adding new services.

H/T the Verge

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.