It seems that all major retailers are waging shipping wars with each other while competing for customers. Walmart just recently upped the game and introduced free next day shipping without membership fees.
All shoppers have to do is download Walmart app, then find the NextDay delivery option on home screen and choose from over 220,000 items that qualify for this shipping. All merchandise is among the most popular, so you will be able to find everything you need, from wipes to cell phones and everything in between.
All the products available for this immediate delivery are essentials that you need on a daily basis and can’t survive without them if you suddenly run out of them – think toilet paper, wipes, paper plates, and pet food. There are some that are often last-minute purchases, such as toys for a forgotten birthday gift or candles for cake. There are many consumable items too, so you won’t have to make an unplanned emergency trip to your local store.
To get free NextDay delivery your order has to be a minimum of $35. The first cities to enjoy this new shipping option are Phoenix and Las Vegas, later including Southern California. This humble beginning is destined to gain speed fast and cover 75% of US population before the end of this year. 75% of population lives in 40 of 50 major cities and surrounding areas, so this is not that hard to achieve, according to CEO of Walmart eCommerce US, Marc Lore.
This new move is going to directly benefit consumers and also positively affect business in general. As it turns out, the cost of next day delivery is cheaper than one might think. The reason for that is the proximity of fulfillment centers to delivery end points. Orders will be combined in as few boxes as possible and sent via less costly ground transportation.
This rosy picture does cause some concern for some experts though. While it’s definitely good for consumers, the retailer might not be able to sustain this strategy for a very long time if costs will prove bigger than anticipated. Long-term benefits and loses remain to be seen, according to a retail analyst at Forrester Sucharita Kodali.
One thing is clear for now – customers are going to love it and definitely use such fast and free shipping. They don’t care about what it will cost Walmart to send theirs tuff so fast.
Walmart is going about this new system in a smart way by starting with a small area, testing the waters, and expanding once proven successful. $35 minimum order is also a great threshold if the store doesn’t want to see negative numbers on their books.
It’s no secret that Walmart and Amazon are going head to head, kind of like Godzilla versus King Kong. With this newest move Walmart got ahead, but Amazon won’t be snoozing for long. The ecommerce giant announced that they will be spending $800 million in the second quarter of this year to go from current free two-day shipping to next day for all Prime members. While Amazon might be ahead of Walmart when it comes to customer satisfaction and loyalty, Prime membership costs $119 per year.
In conclusion, we, the consumers, don’t really care who wins as long as we benefit during those shipping wars. We’ll take it, order some popcorn, and watch.