Amazon, Walmart Square off Over Same-Day Delivery

Amazon and Walmart

Until speed-of-thought delivery is innovated, the next best thing is same day, a concept that Amazon is pursuing aggressively at a time of increasing demand for speedier service.

Amazon said in a Monday (Aug. 1) blog post it’s now offering same-day ordering and delivery for Prime members in more than 10 United States cities from retailers including PacSun, GNC, SuperDry and Diesel with more to come. There’s a buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) option as well.

Read more: Amazon Offers Same-Day Delivery From Local Retailers

Prime members in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Seattle and Washington, D.C., are the first to sample the new same-day offer, free to U.S. Prime members spending $25 or more on qualifying items and $2.99 for those spending less than $25.

It’s a local play on a couple of levels, as retailers within a shopper’s ZIP code get an extra boost in same-day Amazon orders, and consumers benefit from speed and convenience. The eCommerce leader is actively recruiting retailers to “grow your business with local selling.”

“We see high potential in our expanded seller partnership with Amazon, which includes delivery directly from select PacSun retail locations,” Mimi Ruiz, vice president of eCommerce at PacSun, one the of the initial group of retailers participating, said in the blog post. This is one more way for us to offer our customers the styles they want and love, when they want them.”

Consumers want faster deliveries and are clamoring for same-day delivery, according to “The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Rise of the Smart Home,” a July PYMNTS study.

Get the report: The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report

“For many eCommerce shoppers, waiting two or more days to receive their purchases is no longer good enough; many expect to acquire their purchases the same day they are purchased,” the report stated.

Twelve percent of U.S. consumers made eCommerce purchases in May online for in-store/curbside pickup or same-day delivery, equating to roughly 30 million shoppers showing a need for speed.

Walmart+ Leans In

Walmart is feeling the heat, having lost a raft of shoppers to Amazon during the pandemic. In early July, Walmart announced that its “straight to your fridge” InHome Delivery Service is now an add-on for Walmart+ members.

“Our members want options and a shopping experience that is easy to navigate and accommodates their individual needs, while saving them time and money — this is true now more than ever,” said Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president and general manager of Walmart+ in the announcement.

However, unlike Amazon’s news of a same-day program that carries no additional costs, Walmart+ members — who already pay $12.95 a month or $98 a year for membership — “can now add unlimited fee-free and tip-free InHome delivery for an extra $7 a month or $40 per year. That is $138 annually for both, $10 less than previous annual pricing when Walmart+ and InHome were separate memberships. New customers who sign up for both services also get to enjoy the lower rate of the combined programs.”

Whether it comes across as a big enough savings remains to be seen, as does the success of Amazon’s test of same day with select markets and merchants.

Of its own tightened focus on same day, Walmart Chief eCommerce Officer Tom Ward said in a June CNBC interview that by adding InHome, an order “might arrive in a handful of hours after they bought it online, as opposed to a couple of days later. So, it’s a transformational experience in terms of speed, which is really hard to replicate without that fantastic footprint that we have.”

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