Walmart Plus Launches September 15 — Can It Outshine Amazon Prime?

By Thomas Price Monday, September 7, 2020

Retail behemoth Walmart plans to launch its new membership service, Walmart Plus, on September 15. The membership service comes with various benefits, but perhaps the most notable would be the free delivery combined with shipping speeds up to arrival on the same day as purchase for several different items in certain locations. This new membership comes as a direct competitor to the largely uncontested Amazon, who, up to this point, has dominated online delivery with its own membership service, Amazon Prime. So, what exactly sets Walmart Plus apart, and can it truly compete with Amazon Prime?

Basic Information on Walmart Plus

Walmart Plus clocks in at around $98 for a yearly membership, which is notably around $22 cheaper than Amazon Prime’s $119 yearly membership. As said previously, the main hallmark of Walmart Plus will be the free delivery on any purchase above $35 using the membership. Other benefits included with membership would be the use of the Scan and Go feature on the Walmart app. The feature would allow a shopper to scan the items they want as they go through the store, being able to pay instantaneously using Walmart Pay and skip checkout altogether. The third benefit may perhaps be the one that distinguishes Walmart Plus the most from Amazon Prime. With a membership, Walmart offers a five cents per gallon fuel benefit at around 2,000 different locations of Walmart, Murphy Express, and Murphy USA, with the addition of all Sam’s Club fuel stations planned on being added not long afterward.

These features all add up to create a valuable membership program depending on how much the consumer spends at Walmart each year as well as the availability of nearby fuel stations with the discount, but how does this stack up against Amazon Prime?

Comparing Each Membership to the Other

Amazon Prime and Walmart Plus have very similar features. However, there are a few advantages that Amazon Prime has over the latter. When comparing the benefits that each offers, Amazon Prime maintains a rather large lead in the number of products available for same-day with over 3 million in comparison to the 160,000 offered currently by Walmart Plus. While this may be true, Walmart Plus’s biggest edge could be their 5 cents per gallon discount on gas at specific locations. Amazon Prime has no real equivalent to that which can compete against it.

However, this is not what Amazon Prime is trying to compete against. While the main purpose of the membership is still the shipping benefits it offers, what has become a larger and larger focal point for Amazon Prime is their incredible streaming library of movies, tv, and music. With a continuously growing selection of film and television, another main advantage is that Amazon also has a collection of original programming only available on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Originals include popular shows such as “The Boys,” which releases its second season on September 4, and critical darlings like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which has currently won seven Emmy’s through its first two seasons and is nominated for eight more in 2020 for its acclaimed third season. With the addition of Prime Gaming, Prime Reading, and Prime Fashion, the gap between the two services widens just a bit further.

Final Takeaways

Walmart Plus is a solid membership with a lot of upsides, well-worth costs, and the potential for enormous growth within a very successful company with thousands of in-person locations. However, in order to catch up to Amazon Prime’s over 150 million current subscribers, it will need to bolster itself with other features that can provide more incentive to sign up, because as it currently stands, Amazon Prime simply offers a lot more for only $20 more a year. With the library of streaming services that rivals competitors like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon Prime is a more holistic service than Walmart Plus, whose main selling point is free delivery and quick shipping. With this being said, Walmart Plus still may be worth the money and then some to the many patrons of the company looking for a good alternative to Amazon Prime.

About the Author

Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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