Thinking about becoming an Amazon Prime member ahead of Amazon Prime Day in early October? Spare a moment to think about which online retailer is most deserving of your $13 per month, because Walmart is also launching a membership program – and full details on what to expect are now available.
The service, which was teased earlier this year but delayed (in line with so many 2020 launches) is called Walmart+ and it promises to "bring together in-store and online benefits to save customers money and time".
Walmart says its new 'plus' subscription tier benefits from the reach of more than 4,700 stores, 2,700 of which offer delivery as fast as same day. Members of Walmart+ will receive unlimited free delivery from stores, fuel discounts and access to tools that make shopping faster for families.
The facts: Walmart+ membership will be available to all customers from 15th September, or roughly two weeks ahead of Prime Day. It will cost $98 a year or $12.95 a month and includes a 15-day free trial period. Yes, the keen-eyed will note that Walmart's new free-delivery service will undercut Amazon Prime, which costs $12.99 a month or $119 a year – although Amazon's Prime membership free trial lasts one month.
In the future, the Bentonville firm promises it will leverage its strengths as a physical store giant to "add additional benefits for members in a variety of services and offerings".
The initial Walmart+ bullet-point list of perks, which subscribers can start enjoying from 15th September, is as follows:
– Unlimited free delivery, including in-store prices as fast as same-day on more than 160,000 items from tech and toys to household essentials and groceries. This service was previously known as Delivery Unlimited – a subscription service that allows customers to place an unlimited number of deliveries for a low, flat yearly or monthly fee. Current Delivery Unlimited subscribers will automatically become Walmart+ members.
– Subscribers will be able to unlock Scan & Go in the Walmart app, a faster way to shop in-store. Using the app, customers can scan their items as they shop and pay using Walmart Pay for a quick, easy, touch-free payment experience.
– Fuel discounts: members can fill up and save up to five cents a gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel stations. Walmart says Sam’s Club fuel stations will soon be added to this lineup too.
These benefits come in addition to existing customer options such as Walmart’s free curbside pickup, next-day delivery and two-day delivery. Naturally, Walmart says it will continue to offer delivery options with a per-delivery transaction fee so that customers can choose the service that’s best for them.