Walmart lays out pricing, features of its ‘Prime competitor’

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Walmart will introduce its highly anticipated subscription membership program, dubbed Walmart+, Sept. 15, 2020.

The subscription membership will include unlimited free delivery from stores on orders of $35 or more on eligible products purchased through digital channels, including groceries. Select products can be delivered the same day.

Members will also get a 5 cent per gallon discount at Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express gas stations.

Finally, subscribers will also be able to unlock the “Scan & Go” feature in the Walmart app, which allows in store shoppers to scan the barcodes of items while shopping to help speed up checkout.

The plan comes with a 15 day free trial and will sell for $98 per year or $12.95 per month.

Walmart+ appears to be a shot at Amazon’s Prime membership program, currently priced at $119 per year.

While at a lower price point, Walmart+ doesn’t quite replicate the Prime experience’s breadth of benefits.

Amazon’s membership program doesn’t include fuel discounts, but does feature free two day shipping on eligible items — with some items eligible for next day delivery to addresses in select areas.

Amazon’s program also doesn’t have an order minimum on Prime eligible items and the number of qualifying items is in the “millions” as opposed to the estimated 160,000 items Walmart includes.

This limit is largely because Walmart+ will only include free delivery from stores, though eligible digital orders that meet other free shipping thresholds will still qualify.

Walmart is able to leverage is 4,700 stores as quasi-distribution centers, a number that far outweighs Amazon’s distribution center count. This also means that commonly ordered items such as food and household essentials are more likely to be included in Walmart+.

Walmarts also tend to be located in more rural areas, places that Amazon warehouses aren’t always as close to.

Other ways Amazon’s offering is heftier include included access to Amazon Originals and other streaming content, two million ad free songs, digital versions of books and magazines, Audible originals, Prime Gaming via Twitch, photo storage and early access to “Lightning Deals.”

That said, consumers who don’t access these additional features may not find Amazon’s higher price point as appealing.

Amazon also gives members up to 5% back when shopping with cobranded credit and debit cards, including 5% on eligible Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases and 2% at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores and 1% anywhere else the card is used.

It’s worth noting that that 2% cashback at gas stations could result in about the same savings as 5 cents per gallon, depending on current gas prices.

Walmart’s cards offer up to 5% back on digital orders, 2% on in store purchases and 1% elsewhere.

Pared down versions of Amazon Prime, typically without access to the original content but still eligible for shipping perks, is available at free or reduced prices for eligible students, EBT and Medicaid beneficiaries.