Walmart’s new membership programme, Walmart+, has been billed as an alternative to Amazon Prime.
US retailer Walmart is readying itself for the launch of Walmart+, a membership programme offering same-day delivery of general merchandise and groceries, as well as discounts on fuel and early access to product deals.
The programme, which will cost $98 a year upon its launch, was scheduled to launch in March or April, but was postponed due to the pandemic. There remains some uncertainty surrounding whether Walmart+ will launch nationally, or initially on a regional level, later this month.
Walmart is hoping to capitalise on an increasing demand for online membership programmes with the launch of Walmart+, which is cheaper than Amazon Prime ($119 annually) and, like Prime, will offer same-day delivery. Walmart is aiming to prevent the migration of its consumers, many of whom already have Prime memberships, from its physical stores to Amazon.
Reports indicate that Walmart+ expects to add video entertainment to the programme at some point in the future, as well as a branded credit card and a Scan & Go service that allows customers to check out in-store without queuing.
In order to compete with the many benefits of Amazon Prime membership, Walmart+ will offer fuel discounts, which households affected by the coronavirus may find attractive.
The Walmart+ initiative is reportedly a top priority for chief customer officer Janey Whiteside, who joined from American Express in 2018. Other Walmart executives that also been active in the planning of the programme include CEO Doug McMillon, signalling the importance of the initiative.