Walmart already had existing pickup and delivery options when it came to their groceries, but now they’ve upped the ante with Delivery Unlimited, an expansion to the service that will cost $98 a year. Before now, the delivery service allowed customers to have items shipped to the nearest store free of charge, or it could be shipped directly to their home for a $9.95 delivery fee. Delivery Unlimited will cost about $12.95 a month, but will skip that per order fee of $9.95. That said, it’s clear that Delivery Unlimited would help customers that order at least twice a month save a lot of money. The system will simply let a customer place their order on Walmart’s website or app, and choose when they’d like to have the order delivered.
This is but one step Walmart has taken in trying to match one of its most powerful competitors, Amazon, after the latter launched its one-day shipping initiative. Delivery Unlimited is mostly an attempt to raise Walmart’s online presence for customers, alongside other moves likes free one-day shipping for orders over $35, and even an in-home delivery service that will allow employees to go directly into your home and put groceries straight into the fridge.
It’s even more clear that this is a competitive move against Amazon when one checks the prices of these subscriptions. While Amazon’s one-day shipping will only be available to Prime members for $119 a year, Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited is only $98 a year, and even Target’s new delivery initiative with Shipt is only $99 a year. The two retailers are clearly trying to gain an edge of the Amazon titan, in the only way they can; being cheaper.
Fact of the matter is, neither Walmart nor Target is going to be able to compete neck and neck with Amazon in the online sector of commerce. The greatest edge those two companies have is their physical brick and mortar presence, while Amazon exists almost solely online. No matter how good Walmart or Target or any other traditional retailer can make their delivery services, they won’t be able to stack up to the sheer amount of products Amazon can move, or the number of places Amazon can delivery to.
But they likely know this better than anyone. Needless to say, Walmart’ Delivery Unlimited probably has no intent of making a huge difference in the heated battle with Amazon. But it does, however, slightly close the gap between the two retailers, allowing Walmart to flex more of an online presence than it could before. By providing that service for a little less than Amazon, customers who can get most of what they need from Walmart will probably choose to rely on them instead. The same is true of Target and its new delivery process. Either way, we’ll have to wait and see how the two retailers may choose to further bridge the online gap in the future.