The service, which will cost $98 a year, will encompass everything from same-day delivery for grocery and general merchandise to discounts and early access to deals.
The service was originally supposed to be unveiled in March or April, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the rollout, Vox writes. Now, with the pandemic still surging, Walmart hopes to capitalize on the new need for eCommerce sales.
While the pandemic boosted Walmart’s sales, its eCommerce department is still only around an eighth of Amazon’s. Amazon is valued at $1.5 trillion compared to Walmart’s $337 billion, Vox writes. One detriment Walmart faces is that over half of its spending families also utilize Amazon Prime. Amazon has made moves with Prime to help out economically disenfranchised families who used to spend time shopping at Walmart, per the report.
And while Walmart claims a larger stake in the grocery business than Amazon, the long-standing Arkansas-based retailer fears that Amazon could encroach on that side of the market as people shift to digital during the pandemic.
Thus, with Walmart+, the retailer intends to roll out its grocery delivery in an unlimited, same-day capacity, working with Walmart Supercenters and providing reserved delivery slots, open-slot notifications and some access to the company’s new two-hour Express delivery option.
These offerings are a response to the company’s troubles during the pandemic, where it has found some problems with securing delivery spots due to the dramatic increase in demand, Vox writes.
Other planned perks include discounts on fuel at Walmart’s gas stations, a Scan & Go service that will let customers check out without waiting in line, and eventually video entertainment options.
Amazon and Walmart have been two of the top competitors in U.S. retail for quite some time, with Amazon steadily growing over the past several years. Walmart has remained somewhat flatter in growth despite retaining a lead overall. One of Walmart’s main strengths thus far has been in the grocery sector.