Walmart is creating its own yearly paid subscription program to directly compete with Amazon Prime.
According to Recode, the discount giant will begin piloting a membership program called Walmart+ as soon as March 2020. Walmart+ will serve as an expansion of Walmart’s current Delivery Unlimited subscription service. Delivery Unlimited provides free same-day delivery of online grocery orders from 1,600 participating Walmart stores for a yearly $98 fee.
The retailer may keep the same fee or experiment with different price strategies. Walmart also may add exclusive perks for members, such as discounts on prescriptions and fuel and in-store mobile checkout.
Interestingly, Walmart also may reportedly offer text-based ordering as part of Walmart+. Text-based ordering was a feature of the retailer’s recently shuttered Jet black personal shopping service. When Walmart closed Jet black, it publicly said the service would “graduate” to join its customer organization.
A Walmart spokesperson confirmed to Recode that the retailer is developing Walmart+, but did not provide details. The standard annual Amazon Prime rate is $119, although some different pricing models and discounts are available. eMarketer has reported that Amazon Prime represents close to 40% of total U.S. e-commerce sales.