In a bid to take advantage of its success during the pandemic, Walmart is launching Walmart Plus for U.S. consumers on Sept. 15.
People can sign-up for a free fifteen-day trial today and for the full yearly subscription starting tomorrow for $98 annually or around $13 monthly.
Walmart’s subscription program includes unlimited delivery in select areas if customers spend at least $35 per order. Other benefits are discount fuel prices at Walmart, Murphy USA, Murphy Express, and Sam’s Club gas stations. Members also get discounts for mobile scan and go, which allows shoppers to scan and pay for items directly from a smartphone, skipping the checkout line altogether.
“We are a company committed to meeting our customers’ needs,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart. “Customers know they can trust us and depend on us, and we’ve designed this program as the ultimate life hack for them.”
Walmart also announced pilot testing a possible drone delivery service, but that may take some time until it is launched for consumers. Amazon’s drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air, has been in the works for some time, and just received Federal Aviation Administration approval last month.
While some people are drawing comparisons between Amazon Prime and Walmart plus, it is important to note that these are different services. Walmart Plus provides fewer features but perhaps more convenience in places with nearby Walmart locations.
Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at Deal News, told NBC News that people should consider both Amazon Prime and Walmart Plus instead of choosing one or the other.
“Even if a Prime member is taking advantage of all of those perks, they could still find value in Walmart Plus at another $98 per year,” explained Ramhold.
Walmart is trying to promote its new service by showing just how convenient free delivery is and highlighting how safe it is during the pandemic.
“The idea of unlimited delivery from our stores is all the more important now than ever before,” Walmart’s chief marketing officer William White told Fast Company. “When you think about mobile scan-and-go, that makes your journey in the store faster and easier, but it’s also contactless.”