Walmart Responds to Amazon with One-Day Delivery of Its Own
Less than a month ago, Amazon announced that it was making a massive $800 million investment in order to cut its free two-day shipping promise in half for Amazon Prime members. It didn’t take long for Amazon’s largest and most formidable rival, Walmart, to make a similar promise, of course, with a little jab at the ecommerce giant in there as well.
The Walmart promise: Free NextDay delivery on some 200,000 items in select markets—without the membership fee.
In a letter posted on the retailer’s website, Marc Lore, President and CEO of Walmart ecommerce in the U.S., said that the service would be made available first to Walmart.com customers in Phoenix and Las Vegas, with plans to expand to California in the coming days. Over the next few months, Walmart plans to make the service available to some 75 percent of the U.S. population, including 40 of the top 50 major U.S. metro areas.
As for the types of products that will be eligible Lore said it will include a curated list of up to 220,000 of the most frequently purchased items, including diapers, laundry detergent, toys, electronics, and more. The specific assortment of eligible products will reportedly vary by location, and the service will only be eligible on orders of $35 or more.
“Our new NextDay delivery isn’t just great for customers, it also makes good business sense. Contrary to what you might think, it will cost us less—not more—to deliver orders the next day,” Lore said in the letter. “That’s because eligible items come from a single fulfillment center located closest to the customer. This means the order ships in one box, or as few as possible, and it travels a shorter distance via inexpensive ground shipping. That’s in contrast to online orders that come in multiple boxes from multiple locations, which can be quite costly.”
Whereas Amazon is making the investment in expanding its network of fulfillment centers across the country in order to make their one-day delivery promise come to fruition, Walmart is banking on its already-installed base of stores and warehouses to get the job done. And they’re very well positioned to do so with 90 percent of Americans living within 10 miles of a Walmart store. The NextDay service comes on the heels of Walmart’s Grocery Pickup and Delivery service, which is on track to come to 3,100 and 1,600 stores, respectively, by the end of the year, and their two-day free shipping service that available already on millions of items.
The breadth and scope of Walmart’s one day service might not be quite as large as Amazon’s at the outset, but it’s still mightily impressive to see the brick and mortar retailer continue to go toe to toe with the ecommerce giant.