Walmart has announced a new service called Walmart+, an annual membership service which will give shoppers free delivery of groceries and other products. Walmart+ will cost $98/year and offers free delivery of food and other items from nearby stores “as fast as same-day.” However, shipping is free only is orders are at least $35.
Walmart stores carry about 160,000 items which qualify for free shipping. And, when the online store is added, Walmart offers roughly 35 million products. Other Walmart+ perks are expected to expand to a gas discount at Walmart gas stations and the ability to skip checkout lines in stores by paying by mobile phones.
Will this be a significant rival to Amazon Prime? Amazon Prime has been around since 2005 and already has an estimated 150 million subscribers around the world. Prime is definitely an attraction for shoppers and Amazon offers not only free shipping, but free videos, original entertainment content, music, books, and more. It has certainly been a reason why Amazon has grown to a dominant ecommerce market position. Amazon carries more than 12 million products, and when that is expanded to its Amazon Marketplace sellers, reaches 350 million products.
Where will you shop?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: Who has Amazon Prime? Who shops online from Walmart?
- Show video: Video: https://youtu.be/U1p1RDxhvps
- Divide students into teams. Have each team compare the attributes of Amazon Prime and Walmart+. (Can include: price, services, products, shipping, and more.)
- Next, have each team build a chart comparing the strengths and weaknesses of each company.
- Optional: Include Target in the analysis, even though it does not (yet) have a membership service.
- Should Target also offer a membership service similar to Prime and Walmart+?
Source: Associated Press; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources