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Walmart Is Offering a Free Trial for Its Amazon Prime ‘Killer’

30 June 2016

From Fortune:

Walmart is sweetening the deal for the shoppers it wants to win over from Amazon.com by offering a free one-month trial of “ShippingPass,” its answer to its online rival’s wildly successful Prime subscription plan.

The world’s largest retailer, looking to rev up online sales growth that has sagged in recent quarters, said on Tuesday it was as of Friday offering a free 30-day trial ofShippingPass. That annual subscription service, like Prime, offers members unlimited free two-day shipping (that was three days until recently for Walmart) and no order minimums. The program’s cost is $49 a year, compared to $99 for Amazon Prime.

In its most recent quarter, Walmart reported global e-commerce sales rose 7%, their slowest rate of growth yet. Meanwhile, Amazon’s sales rose more than 20%, thanks in large part to Prime. Prosper Insights and Analytics, a retail data firm, estimated last month that one-third of American adults are Prime subscribers. Walmart’s e-commerce sales came to nearly $13 billion last year, or about one-sixth of Amazon’s total.

. . . .

Walmart has a lot of work to do to get consumers to consider signing up. A year ago, Prosper surveyed shoppers on their interest in ShippingPass program and found that 12.4% indicated they would be “likely” or “very likely” to subscribe. Now, according to a survey published this week, that has risen to 14.8%, a slight improvement at best despite improvements to the subscription offering.

Link to the rest at Fortune

PG checked out Walmart’s ecommerce site. Others may have a different response, but it felt several years behind Amazon. PG checked some comparable prices. In all cases, Amazon was either less expensive or the same price as the same item at Walmart.

For those online shoppers who live in states with no physical Amazon presence and who occasionally “forget” to pay their state use tax when Amazon doesn’t collect the sales tax, Walmart’s ubiquitous presence in every state (and thus its obligation to collect sales tax in every state) may also be a negative.


6 Comments to “Walmart Is Offering a Free Trial for Its Amazon Prime ‘Killer’”

  1. I applaud the recognition that they need to build out their web-based infrastructure, while shaking my head because Amazon has such an enormous head-start on every online retailer it’s probably insurmountable.

  2. I sometimes compare the prices at Amazon and Walmart. Something I’ve noticed is that Walmart items are often sold by someone other than Walmart. I wonder if orders arrive from third parties or a Walmart warehouse.

  3. About time. There are certain things I’ve ordered from Walmart online (maybe 1 or 2 orders a year), and I know it will take a week plus for the items to arrive. They are pretty slow to someone used to Prime. I just placed an order on Tuesday and they said to expect it next Wednesday. I never go to the Walmart stores, and their site is’t the funnest, but for specific things, I’ll bite the slower-delivery bullet as long as the price is right and shipping is free (ie, I make it to $50).

    I’ll need to figure out if the price for their faster shipping ends up saving or costing me, considering I just don’t order from them very often, and don’t necessarily want to.

  4. They might actually want to be real competition before trying to be a ‘killer’.

    After all, B&N wants to be an ‘Amazon killer’ too — at least for books.

  5. I gave up trying to shop, or even research products on walmart.com a few years ago. Periodic check-ins tell me it’s no better. That site needs a lot of work to become more user-friendly.

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