After Walmart quietly launched its subscription program two weeks ago, the retail giant has gotten a lot louder about its version of Amazon’s Subscribe & Save – particularly with Walmart+ customers.
Walmart’s program lets shoppers “subscribe” to various items on the store’s website and set up auto-deliveries. The feature is targeted towards “everyday essentials.” It’s akin to Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program, which gives you a discount for ordering a regular supply of anything from dishwashing detergent to diapers. Likewise, when a shopper chooses a product, they can choose to set up a subscription that ensures the quantity of the item and the delivery frequency. Customers can browse, add and remove subscribed items as well.
The program is just the latest example of the amped up rivalry between Walmart, the nation’s largest overall retailer, and Amazon, which is the largest online retailer. Walmart has been modeling itself after its competitor by bolstering its convenience offerings and expanding the features of its subscription program to match what’s offered by Prime.
With a Walmart+ subscription, customers get free delivery, curbside pickup, fuel discounts and a Paramount+ Essential plan — all for $2 less than an Amazon Prime membership. In addition, members can access a season of six ad-free TV shows every month in an OnDemand category through Pluto TV.
Shipping for subscriptions are also free for Walmart+ customers, while everyone else will pay a fee for deliveries.
That’s similar to Amazon’s subscription auto-delivery service, which offers the most savings to its Prime members. If you’re subscribed to Prime, you get 5% off your order and free shipping. Non-Prime members may incur shipping costs for the first delivery, according to Amazon. The company said customers will save 15% when you receive five or more products in one auto-delivery to one address in a single month.
Walmart’s e-commerce division began picking up steam earlier this year. The company’s online sales grew 27% in the first quarter of 2023, and total revenue grew 7.6 percent year over year in the U.S..
So far, Walmart mirroring Amazon has been successful, but the competing services means customers at some point may feel the need to just stick with one.