03 February 2017

BUSINESS - Walmart Escalates Ecommerce Battle with Free Two-Day Shipping

In an effort to challenge ecommerce giant Amazon, Walmart has introduced free two-day shipping for home delivery on orders of at least $35 in the US.
This initiative replaces their Shipping Pass, which offered free two-day shipping for an annual $49 fee, and all current subscribers will receive a refund.

“In today's world of ecommerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes. It no longer makes sense to charge for it,” Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart US ecommerce, said in a release.

The new shipping offer is a direct strike at and attempt to undercut Amazon who dominates the ecommerce market.

Amazon Prime is a $99-per-year service that bundles two-day shipping on purchases with unlimited streaming media and other perks and has strong customer loyalty.

Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com in 2016 was a clear statement of their intention to become a serious competitor in the online sales market.

Their new shipping program is another.

It won’t be surprising to see Walmart offer better services and deeper discounts in the future, particularly as ecommerce and mobile commerce continue to increase in importance with consumers.

“Two-day free shipping is the first of many moves we will be making to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth,” Lore said.

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