The nation’s largest retailer just threw down the gauntlet. They are challenging their competitor Amazon to a delivery duel, right in Amazon’s backyard.
On Tuesday, the company announced it will begin offering next-day delivery service. Over 220,000 popular items to include housewares, diapers and nonperishable food items will be eligible for the service. Toys, clothing and electronics are also included.
The volume of items offered through the new service exceed what is offered in stores. This puts Walmart in direct competition with Amazon’s membership delivery offerings. Walmart’s next-day delivery will require a minimum order of $35 and is due to roll out in 75% of the country by year’s end. Walmart will add more products as the program expands.
The introduction comes just two weeks after Amazon announced its two-day shipping option for Prime members (who pay $119 a year membership) will become a one-day delivery option. Amazon has not offered customers a time as to when the switch would go into effect.
Walmart began offering free, two-day shipping on millions of items about two years ago through its website for orders of $35 or more. Target offers the same. Walmart is also expanding same-day grocery delivery service from its stores. Compared to chain supermarkets whose delivery fees can exceed $12.50, Walmart offers same-day grocery delivery for $10.
Because Walmart only sells the products they make and/or carry in stores, consumers will find fewer products than on Amazon. Walmart’s online sales, too, are but a fraction of Amazon’s. However, Walmart has 4,700 stand alone stores, an asset Amazon doesn’t have. Amazon feels they are in a better position than Walmart and Target because they’ve been delivering more packages using their own delivery drivers and airplanes since 2018. Walmart and other retailers still rely on USPS and other shipping companies.
Next day delivery will be cheaper for Walmart in the long run because items will come from a single center located closest to the customer. From now on orders will ship in fewer boxes than in years past. Walmart will also limit costs by tailoring its products offered to what is available in local markets in any given region.
According to Walmart CEO of e-commerce, Marc Lore, says the new delivery program is “good for business” and has been in the works for a while. “Customer expectations continue to rise. We’re trying to get ahead of that.”
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!