Walmart Plus, A New Amazon Prime Competitor, Launches This Month

Amazon has been a leading player in the e-commerce space for many years, but one of its biggest competitors is taking an even bigger step to gain the loyalty and patronage of online shoppers. On Monday, Walmart announced Walmart+, a new annual membership shoppers can sign up for to receive exclusive perks, such as unlimited free delivery and same-day shipping on select items. This is a rebranding and expansion of the existing Delivery Unlimited program, which launched last year and only focused on groceries. Walmart+ includes items across all of the retailer’s categories, from tech and gaming to toys and household essentials.

Walmart+ costs $98 a year or $12.95 a month, the same price as the previous Delivery Unlimited program. A 15-day free trial period is available. The primary benefits are unlimited free delivery from stores and same-day delivery on more than 160,000 items. This includes in-store prices and discounts, which could be a huge draw to gamers if this program includes brand-new games. Walmart regularly offers new AAA games for $49.94 instead of $60 on release day in stores, and it sounds like Walmart+ could allow you to take advantage of this discount online and receive same-day shipping as well, if new games are eligible. We’ve reached out to Walmart for clarification.

Non-members can already take advantage of free two-day and next-day shipping on select items for orders of $35 or more. In this way, Walmart’s already been competing with Amazon Prime on the fast delivery front, offering some of the same perks with an order minimum instead of a yearly membership fee.

In addition to the delivery benefits, Walmart+ unlocks Scan & Go in the Walmart app, which lets you shop in-store much faster by scanning items with the app as you go. When you’re done, you can pay using the app as well, which allows for a quicker, touch-free experience (definitely a pro during the current pandemic). Walmart+ also gets you discounts on fuel, allowing you to save up to 5 cents a gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express gas stations. Sam’s Club fuel stations will be added soon as well.

The Walmart+ program launches on September 15, and there’s no way to sign up just yet. Though cheaper than Amazon’s $120 per year Prime membership, Walmart+ does include fewer benefits–Prime, for example, unlocks access to Prime Gaming, Prime Video, and more in addition to free same-day and one-day shipping. According to Walmart, more Walmart+ benefits will be added over time, though no details have been shared on that front.

When asked about Amazon Prime in a press call on Monday, Walmart chief customer officer Janey Whiteside declined to compare the two services, CNET reported. “We’re not launching Walmart+ with the intent to compete with anything else,” Whiteside said. “We’re launching it to meet the needs of our customers.”

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