Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed May 18 2022 15:33:28

Can Walmart Finally Take on Amazon Prime Day?

By: Ina Steiner

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Ever since Amazon held its first Prime Day on July 15, 2015, other marketplaces have tried to keep up. However, each year, it's Prime Day that that gets all the attention when it comes to corporate-contrived shopping holidays.

Seven years later, that may be about to change. Walmart announced today a June shopping event called "Walmart+ Weekend." Like Amazon Prime Day, it offers special savings to those who have paid for its membership program.

Walmart said it's taking a new approach to help spread the news about Walmart+ Weekend with the help of celebrities. "Starting today, Walmart will be sharing videos from celebrity comedians to share "what's the deal" featuring the hottest deals of the event. Jim Gaffigan, Ken Jeong, Franco Escamilla and Iliza Schlesinger will be sharing their hot takes on the deals via social during Walmart+ Weekend."

Walmart first tried to fight Prime Day, telling shoppers in 2015: "Low Prices. No Admission Fee. You shouldn't have to pay $100 to get great deals. On July 15th (and every other day) enjoy low prices at Walmart,..."

But that same year, Walmart began testing Shipping Pass, a paid program that offered free 2-day shipping to members, though it didn't survive. In 2020, it launched the current Walmart+ program, which now costs $98/year (or $12.95/month) and offers a wider range of benefits, including free delivery, free shipping, and scan and go ("a fast way to shop in-store" using the Walmart mobile app). 

Walmart+ also offers something shoppers may appreciate now more than ever - discounts on fuel. 

We recently reported on research from Numerator that compared Walmart+ with Amazon Prime and Target Shipt showing that over half (53.6%) of US households subscribe to Amazon Prime, while 8.1% subscribe to Walmart+. The article also has data including how many shoppers stick with one membership program versus those willing to pay for multiple plans.

And today, CIRP is out with research indicating Walmart+ membership may be plateauing. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP)'s partner and cofounder Mike Levin said, "Walmart+ membership grew steadily but slowly during 2021, with a greater increase in the holiday quarter. Then, similar to overall results at Walmart.com, membership may have retreated somewhat after a busy November-December-January period."

On the one hand, the Walmart+ Weekend event has an edge with its early June timing - weeks ahead of July Prime Day and a time shoppers may be itching to kick off an early summer. On the other hand, Walmart+ Weekend must rely that shoppers are willing to try out its subscription program if they're not already members.

Do you think Walmart has a chance of finally gaining traction for its summer deals - and for its membership program? And let us know if these shopping events affect you as a seller.



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by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 16:12:50 2022

I don't currently know anyone who buys from Wal-Mart.  Oh, and I have no idea who any of those celebrities are.

Personally, I can't imagine PAYING any merchant monthly to maybe save money a couple of times per year.  The places I shop online have amazing sales more often than that, often with free shipping, and I don't have to ''pay to play''.  

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by: GetAGrip This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 18:02:06 2022

Taking a trip to walmart is like going to a swap meet in China.  All their stock looks like it just came out of storage container where it was shoved 5 years ago.   Nasty smelling stuff.

@LDW   We pay for Prime everyyear and would never consider dropping it.  Look at it this way.  We live in the country 10 miles from the nearest gas station, 21 miles from a grocery store.  You have to travel 40 miles to even get close to a major city.  There are millions of us who enjoy not having to put up with the nonsense you find in the cities and are perfect happy living in the country.  Amazon prime is a god sent way for us to buy without having to pay 4.50 a gallon to rummage though some garbage at the mall.  We are retired and there are a 8 people who live around us.  One prime account works just fine for all of us.  Our orders go in on Wednesdays and usually are delivered on Thursday with very few exceptions.  I can guarantee  that piddey  139.00 that we paid for prime was used up the first month we had it.  In fact the only time we need to venture into a grocery store is for dog and cat food.  All our vegetables are grown and canned by us.  Milk comes from our cows and goat.  Meat comes from our stock.  I'm willing to bet we live better than most people as we have learned to sustain ourselves without all the poisons you find in your store bought garbage.  Yes we love the country,  the peace and quite,  where two cars on the same road constitute a traffic jam.  Amazon prime is a big deal for us.

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by: CenTex This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 19 05:55:37 2022

I don't do Amazon, but I shop Walmart.com all the time. Many vendors that sell on Amazon sell on Walmart.com. I do my search then drill down to the best price, it arrives at my door quickly and by checking out with my Walmart credit card I get 5% cash back on EVERY online purchase. I live out of town, the nearest town is 22 miles one way, city is 45 - won't buy fuel anywhere but in town - it's at least 50 cents a gallon higher on the highway than in town.
While I don't live on a farm I do have a garden - this year I added 4 raised beds, bought through Walmart for half the cost from a speciality retailer.  I also have a greenhouse and many items - racks, circulating water cooler, potting table was purchased via Walmart - name brand items too.
And I'd like to add I don't pay shipping on ANYTHING - my order just needs to be $35 or more and it ships free. I have never paid a ''membership'' fee either.  That 5% cash back adds up, better than one can get on your savings at the bank.
About Amazon, a couple of years ago I found an item I thought I wanted to buy so I put it in my cart, Amazon automatically added the prime fee.  When I removed the item the prime fee was still in my cart, it took many hoops to jump through to get it removed.  Due to this I closed the account.  With Walmart they do not automatically add the fee to your cart, you must physically check the box for it to be added. Just my experience, each of us has to do what we feel is best.

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by: Queen of the Jungle This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 19 08:07:48 2022

With the cost of gas and fuel today, I would guess that any service that lets people avoid driving will do very well.

I agree with the others who posted their stories.  Same here except I live in a more suburban area and can no longer stand to live shop in Walmart.  Too many disgusting freaks, many of whom should have never been allowed in the store in the first place.

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by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 19 11:33:32 2022

Before I moved to the area where I live now, my late husband and I lived in a county with just 20K residents.  The nearest big box stores were in the next county (a minimum 50-mile round trip).  Unless you were planning to be a bridesmaid or go to a high school formal dance there was no women's clothing in the county (men and children's clothes, yes).  We relied on our FAX machine and catalogs, the 1990s equivalent of Amazon.  

I've been catalog shopping since maybe 1980 when I got tired of seeing the same items at all the mall department stores (the old school ones like Bamberger's  Gimbels, Wanamaker's, and Strawbridge's where you don't push a cart).  Some of the brands I buy online have a smallish presence on Amazon, but have limited sizes and colors -- and higher prices, too.  My special needs kitty eats a prescription diet, but the food on Amazon costs up to 50 percent more than any of the home delivery pet supply sites.  That's just crazy.  No one buys expensive cat food because they want to.  Sure, I can afford the Amazon price, but why would I?  I'd rather donate the difference to local (human) food banks and the Humane Society.

Wal-Mart never impressed me positively.  I've been in two stores, and they were a mess (dirty and disorganized) compared to their 1990s competitors K-Mart and Jamesway. I like a bargain, like everyone else, but Wal-Mart is just not for me.



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