Watch out, Amazon: Wal-Mart enhances shipping options
Wal-Mart is "moving at the speed of a startup," according to its CEO, by launching free two-day shipping without any membership fee involved.
The new option is a direct shot at Amazon's longstanding free shipping for Prime members. In addition to not requiring a membership fee, Wal-Mart is dropping the minimum purchase requirement to $35, down from the previous $50 threshold.
"Two-day free shipping is the first of many moves we will be making to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth," Wal-Mart U.S. eCommerce President and CEO Marc Lore said in a press release.
The two-day shipping is available to more than two million items that are most popular with consumers, from baby food to cleaning supplies to electronics and toys, according to the press announcement.
Wal-Mart is discontinuing its ShippingPass program and members will receive a refund.
"In today's world of e-commerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes. It no longer makes sense to charge for it," Lore said.
In a blog post, Lore noted Wal-Mart's road ahead is "pretty simple."
"We'll keep our fanatical commitment to saving customers money — it's who we are. And, we're going to be equally obsessed with saving our customers time.
"This is just the beginning. Now that we've checked the two-day shipping box, my focus is on leveraging our unique assets and network to serve customers in innovative ways that only Walmart can. Stay tuned…you won't be waiting long," wrote Lore.