Walmart is stepping up again in its never-ending battle with rivals Target and Amazon by announcing free, two-day shipping for customers who spend $35.
The big box retailer has slashed the minimum spend for online shoppers down from $50, with free shipping available on more than two million items without a membership fee, the company announced on Wednesday.
The new offer came into effect at 7 a.m., with Walmart U.S. CEO Marc Lore saying it’s the “first of many moves we will be making to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth.”
“In today’s world of e-commerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes. It no longer makes sense to charge for it,” he added.
It brings an end to Walmart’s ShippingPass program that attempted to rival Amazon Prime by offering customers free shipping on unlimited online orders for $49.99 a year. Program members will get a full refund.
How does this compare?
Here’s how shipping services offered by Target, Walmart and Amazon now compare.
The move from Walmart is certainly a shot across the bow for the Minneapolis company, which offers free shipping on all orders over $25 and free shipping with zero minimum spend for RedCard holders.
However, Target only offers free “standard” shipping, which arrives 3-5 business days after the delivery carrier has picked it up. Customers have to pay extra for its premium 2-day delivery service or next day “express” service.
The online giant offers free 2-day shipping to those who spend the $99-a-year cost to become a Prime member (so it’s not really “free” as such). Plus, if you want grocery deliveries via Amazon Fresh, the subscription costs an extra $14.99-a-month.
Non-Prime members only get free standard shipping if they spend more than $35, with the online giant saying their order should arrive 5-8 days after the items are available to ship.
Walmart is offering free, two-day shipping on online purchases with a minimum spend of $35, with two million items – including foods and household essentials – available for free delivery.
No membership is required to access this deal.
While you have to spend $10 more with Walmart to get free shipping, it’ll arrive much quicker than Target or Amazon (unless you’re a Prime member).
USA Today did a comparison between Amazon and Walmart following Wednesday’s announcement, and found Walmart was the better value for many comparable items, though its selection is more limited.
The Motley Fool says that with its lower minimum spend – and zero minimum for RedCard holders – Target offers the most economical deal for smaller orders if you’re ok waiting a little longer for it to arrive.
Alternatively, if you’re a Prime member who orders from Amazon regularly, it gets more and more economical the more you order considering you don’t have to spend a minimum to qualify for two-day delivery.
That said, it points out that you just need to “add an item or two” to reach the $35 minimum Walmart now demands for free shipping.