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.