Walmart has just expanded its free, two-day shipping pilot to the entire United States. The program is called ShippingPass, and it competes directly with Amazon Prime, offering users free, two-day delivery on any item for an annual price of $49.
This is just half the price of the $99/year Amazon Prime subscription, but it doesn’t come with the same access to Amazon’s streaming services like Prime Music and Prime Video.
For now, ShippingPass is only available for items that Walmart sells directly on Walmart.com. The company has been investing heavily in its ecommerce business, infusing $2 billion in the platform, according to the WSJ.
Of course, Walmart wants to expand the ShippingPass delivery system to third-party sellers as well, though that is not currently available to users.
As part of the ShippingPass program, Walmart has moved loads of inventory to seven fulfillment warehouses across the country.
Obviously, speedy shipping on low-margin products is a costly (and sometimes losing) business without outside revenues to bolster those costs. Amazon has a number of revenue streams that help offset the Prime business, but Walmart may struggle to find that same success, considering that brick-and-mortar sales are down.
But what choice does the big box behemoth have? The average consumer is growing more and more comfortable with shopping online, and less and less tolerant of slow shipping times.
In any case, if you do a lot of Walmart.com shopping, you can start a 30-day trial of ShippingPass right now at the Walmart website.