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Walmart often matches Amazon’s Prime Day discounts—and vice versa—which means, come Prime Day, you may see some pretty competitive pricing between the two monolithic retailers. We’ve seen it ourselves first hand, in fact. A few years ago, Deputy Deals Editor Dan Kim watched the price of the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty air purifier drop lower and lower throughout the day as each store tried to outshine the other. Eventually, when the price felt right (and when it seemed the competition had drawn to an end), he made his purchase and ended up spending $132 (the lowest we had seen to date). Compared to the first deal the team had spotted that morning at $185, the 30% drop in price was hardly believable.
Just ahead of the holiday shopping season, Walmart is making a new push into a subscription service. The concept, called Walmart Plus, launched two weeks ago and so far includes only a handful of perks. But it might someday shake up the e-commerce subscription market that’s thoroughly dominated by Amazon Prime.
Walmart is one of the very few companies that could hope to challenge Amazon, which has a 15-year headstart and boasts over 150 million members worldwide. As the biggest retailer in the world, Walmart has the resources, finances and logistics infrastructure to build out a viable Prime rival.
It’s got a very long way to go. Walmart Plus, which costs $98 a year, offers shipping as fast as same-day for orders over $35. It also offers a fuel discount and a “Scan & Go”
Walmart (WMT) – Get Report on Wednesday unveiled a new store redesign that works with its mobile app to help customers make contactless transactions.
“As part of the overall signage, the exterior and interior of the stores will reflect the Walmart app icon,” the Bentonville, Ark., company’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, Janey Whiteside, said in a blog post.
“As customers enter the store, they will see colorful iconography and a store directory that encourages them to download and use the Walmart app while they shop.
“Throughout the store, bold, dimensional typeface … directs customers to the exact section they are looking for, while aisles are marked with letter and number combinations to guide customers from phone to product.”
The company said it tested the design in select stores — it didn’t say which — and was pleased with the customer feedback.
Amazon Prime has been a go-to membership for years for many consumers in large part because of its free two-day–sometimes one- or same-day–shipping on a huge selection of products. For gamers and entertainment junkies, Prime routinely offers release-day delivery, making it a popular method for securing physical releases without heading to the store. Over the past 15 years, Amazon has racked up over 150 million subscribers. Now Walmart is trying to chip away at that subscriber base with its own delivery-focused subscription service that expands upon its Delivery Unlimited grocery service. Walmart+ launches today, September 15, so let’s see how it stacks up against Amazon Prime.