Amazon is a tough rival to beat at its own game — so Walmart is trying a different tactic.
Effective today, Walmart is ending ShippingPass, a $50 per year membership program that the retail giant was testing. Members received free, two-day shipping, in direct competition with one of core benefits of Amazon’s annual $100 per year Prime Membership.
Instead of ShippingPass, Walmart is offering free two-day shipping on all orders that exceed $35. Customers can have orders of any price shipped to a Walmart location within two days. Walmart is providing full refunds for all ShippingPass members.
ShippingPass offered a similar benefit to Amazon Prime at half the cost, but Walmart doesn’t have as many businesses to draw on for additional perks. Amazon has been steadily adding benefits to Prime, including music, original streaming content, free same-day shipping, and more.
Walmart’s shifting strategy comes six months after it acquired another Amazon competitor, Jet.com, for $3.3 billion.
Although Jet continues to operate as a stand-alone brand, the e-commerce startup and physical retail powerhouse are combining “Walmart’s retail expertise, purchasing scale, sourcing capabilities, distribution footprint, and digital assets – together with the team, technology and business we have built here at Jet,” according to Jet Co-founder Marc Lore.
Lore is now president and CEO of Walmart’s e-commerce business.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” he said in a statement tied to today’s announcement. “We are moving at the speed of a startup. Two-day free shipping is the first of many moves we will be making to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth.”