For the next five days, Walmart will offer free shipping on all orders with no minimum purchase price, and is rolling out discounts on a host of products across its online store. The promotion comes just a day before Amazon’s second annual Prime Day, during which Prime subscribers gain access to hundreds of deals.
Unlike Prime Day, which is limited to Prime subscribers, the five days of free shipping apply to all of Walmart’s online customers, not just subscribers to its ShippingPass subscription. Walmart is trying to paint Prime Day as an elitist event reserved for a select few. "We believe saving money every day is better than just one, and that all customers should save, not only some," Walmart said in a statement announcing the offer.
Walmart hopes its latest shipping play will jump-start its slowing online sales growth, as it continues to invest heavily in expanding its e-commerce presence to take back some of the customers it has lost to online shopping alternatives. Last year, Walmart attempted to counter Prime Day with three months of sales; this year’s approach is far more measured, taking away from the spectacle of Amazon’s single-day blowout. Last month, it officially rolled out ShippingPass, a $49-per-year subscription offering free two-day shipping on all orders, similar to what Amazon currently offers to Prime customers.
Free shipping is a powerful incentive to potential customers; however, the chance to save by simply yelling my orders at my Amazon Echo may be too fun an opportunity to turn down.