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What You Should Know About the New Walmart+ Subscription Service
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Walmart is launching its new delivery subscription service, Walmart+, on Sept. 15. The service was initially planned to launch in late March or April of this year, but the debut was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walmart+ will provide customers unlimited free deliveries on orders over $35 and same-day delivery for selected items. In addition to free delivery, customers will also have access to Walmart’s Scan & Go mobile app and fuel discounts.
Walmart+ is priced at $98 per year or $12.95 per month, compared to Amazon Prime’s fee of $119 per year or $12.99 per month. Walmart is also providing a free 15-day trial period for consumers to try out the delivery subscription service.
Below, we break down the key features and benefits of Walmart’s highly anticipated subscription service.
1. Unlimited Free Deliveries
The unlimited free delivery on orders over $35 covers more than 160,000 items, including fresh groceries, household essentials, technology, and toys. Deliveries can be as fast as same-day, but the speed varies per item.
The subscription business is not entirely new for Walmart. The retail giant has a similar service, Delivery Unlimited, which offers free grocery deliveries for the same price as its successor. Existing customers of Delivery Unlimited will be inducted into Walmart+.
2. Scan & Go
Scan & Go is a mobile app created for in-store shopping. The app enables customers to scan items at a Walmart store, pay through their phone at a self-checkout kiosk, and walk out with their purchased merchandise. The tool is especially useful in the current pandemic climate by providing a touch-free experience.
Walmart had previously implemented Scan & Go for a brief period of time but discontinued the app two years ago. The tool is now back and adds to the delivery subscription service by incorporating in-store perks.
3. Fuel Discounts
Customers will receive fuel discounts worth up to 5 cents per gallon. The affiliated fuel stations include Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express. Sam’s Club fuel stations will be added to the list in the near future, according to Walmart.
Saving on fuel is a differentiated bonus of the subscription service and helps customers cut down on transportation expenses. The on-the-go benefit can attract a wider-range of customers and help the company gain market share from an Amazon-dominated space.
Walmart’s Current Marketplace
Walmart’s marketplace is rapidly growing, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are currently over 50,000 sellers on Walmart, which has doubled in size within the past year.
In 2020 alone, more than 15,000 sellers have joined the marketplace and the numbers are only projected to increase. The growth of sellers is in part attributed to the retailer’s recent partnership with Shopify, which opened up its marketplace to an additional 1,200 Shopify sellers.
Will More Sellers Join Walmart?
The latest subscription model may entice sellers to join the marketplace. Walmart is branching out its services and can potentially gain more customers as a result. Sellers could reap the benefits from greater brand exposure and a possible boost in sales.
Some of the benefits Walmart offers sellers:
- No Monthly Fees: Sellers are not required to pay a monthly fee to sell on the marketplace. Instead, a referral fee is deducted, varying from 6%–15%.
- Increase in Leads: Consumers who shop on Walmart’s website do not always shop on other e-marketplaces and have brand loyalty. Sellers can gain more leads by reaching a new audience.
- Pay Only When a Lead Converts: Instead of a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign that charges for every time a lead clicks on an ad, Walmart only charges sellers for clicks if a lead converts.
The existing benefits of selling on Walmart are already tempting for sellers. The rise of sellers on the retailer’s marketplace is proof of its appeal. Adding Walmart+ to the mix could convince more sellers who are not currently selling on the marketplace to join.
Will Consumers Be Interested?
Consumers may be tempted to purchase Walmart’s free delivery subscription service. Walmart is currently dominating the online grocery delivery business. Since fresh grocery deliveries are a core component of Walmart+, that could draw in the initial wave of customers. Additional customers may follow suit, based on other perks.
The service offers an overall combination of online, in-store, and on-the-go benefits. Walmart was strategic in establishing multiple selling points. However, the company will face its share of challenges competing with Amazon Prime, which has over 150 million customers worldwide.
It is no surprise that retailers are actively seeking opportunities to grow in an emerging e-commerce world. Walmart’s decision to build on its existing grocery-focused delivery subscription service and transform it to reach more consumers may be rewarding.
The company’s strategy to leverage Walmart+’s fast and unlimited free deliveries, Scan & Go mobile app, and fuel discounts has the potential to convert customers from Amazon Prime and other competing services.
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