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walmart shopping cartHow many people will sign up for Walmart’s upcoming shipping service that is aiming to rival Amazon’s own membership program?

Not that many, according to a survey that asked 6,000 U.S. adults how likely they were to pay $50 a year to join Walmart’s answer to Amazon Prime.

The study, which was conducted by Prosper Insights, found that just 12.4 percent of respondents said they were “likely” or “very likely” to sign up for Walmart’s Shipping Pass, which offers unlimited three-day shipping on items purchased online. The results were disclosed in a Forbes guest column today by Prosper.

Prosper Insights, a Worthington, Ohio-based analytics company that counts several retailers as clients, said the 12.4 percent equates to about 18 million U.S. households, which is impressive until you realize that Amazon is estimated to have about 40 million subscribers, who are offered a slightly sweeter deal. While Amazon Prime costs twice as much at $99 a year, it has a wider selection and often delivers items to customers within two days or less.

That’s not to say that Walmart’s ShippingPass, which is expected to launch this summer, could not still find a successful niche. Nearly half of those “likely” or “very likely” to subscribe to Shipping Pass were identified as Millennials, aged 18 to 32, which may represent a group of individuals who are willing to spend more than Walmart’s typical bargain customer.

walmart shipping pass2“Potential Shipping Pass subscribers earn nearly $63,000 a year, about five percent higher than average Walmart devotees,” Prosper wrote. “Additionally, nearly three out of five (57.1%) of those considering Shipping Pass are male. While women (particularly moms) are generally highly sought-after by mass market retailers, men have historically budgeted more for key buying occasions (like the winter holiday season) than their female counterparts.”

The part where Amazon could find concerning is the number of customers who have both Amazon Prime and Walmart’s Shipping Pass. If given the opportunity to have free shipping on either site, customers may be more inclined to comparison shop.

The survey found that the overlap is significant, with Shipping Pass subscribers 50 percent more likely than average to already have a Prime membership.

Walmart is currently asking interested customers to sign up to be notified when the Shipping Pass pilot launches. There have been reports that the shipping program has faced difficulties getting off the ground, but if things are still on track, it could launch as soon as this summer.


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