Wal-Mart Ditches Amazon Prime-Like Service, Reduces Free 2-Day Shipping Requirements
Starting today, Wal-Mart customers can get free two-day shipping with a minimum purchase of $35 from today.
The new offer covers popular merchandise like baby necessities, pet items, personal care, electronics, food, household essentials, health and beauty products.
It also reduces the minimum purchase requirement from $50 to $35, ensuring more people can take advantage of the promotion. Shoppers, meanwhile, do not need a ShippingPass membership -- the company's $49-per-year Amazon Prime-like service that promises free, unlimited two-day shipping on all Walmart.com orders.
"In today's world of ecommerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes. It no longer makes sense to charge for it," Marc Lore, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S. eCommerce, said in a statement. "Two-day free shipping is the first of many moves we will be making to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth."
Same-day store pickup remains available at more than 4,600 stores, and online grocery pickup is live at 600-plus locations in the U.S., with plans to expand this year.
The retail giant has long had an online presence: In 2012, Wal-Mart launched "Pay With Cash," allowing customers who may not own a debit or credit card to buy goods online and pay with cash in a physical store. Months later, it introduced the "Polaris" search engine to deliver more relevant results.
And as technology got smarter, so did Wal-Mart, which last summer rolled its proprietary mobile payment system out to stores across the country; folks can simply swipe their iOS or Android device at any checkout lane to pay by major credit, debit, pre-paid or Wal-Mart gift card.
The world's largest retailer, meanwhile, in August announced its acquisition of ecommerce company Jet.com for $3 billion -- an effort it hopes will improve its website and woo millennials.