Walmart is removing the $35 free shipping minimum on its annual subscription service, Walmart Plus, the company announced on Wednesday. The new policy will take effect on Friday, December 4th, and it means all Walmart Plus members will receive free next-day and two-day shipping on items ordered from Walmart’s website, regardless of the size of their order.
The change is a clear attempt to better compete with Amazon Prime, the subscription service on which Walmart Plus is based. One of the biggest benefits of Prime since its introduction more than 15 years ago has been free (and often two-day and now one-day) shipping on all eligible orders.
That made Walmart’s $35 order minimum for its Prime competitor a significant setback for the big-box retailer when it launched its service back in September, and it’s a telling sign that Walmart is removing the restriction so early in the lifespan of its service.
Amazon and Walmart have long had a fierce rivalry in the retail space, Amazon having dominated US e-commerce and now moving onward to physical retail and groceries while Walmart has attempted the reverse. Both companies are now the US’s largest employers, and both want to be the one place you buy almost everything.
At the intersection of these colossal corporations’ core businesses is ever-faster and free delivery. The more reliable, fast, and low-cost your ability to deliver products to a customer’s front door — especially amid the coronavirus pandemic — the more likely that customer will order from you again in the future.