Walmart Announces One-Day Free Shipping, Out To Challenge Amazon

Walmart Inc and Amazon.com Inc, two of the world’s leading e-retailers, are set to battle it out for supremacy as they seek to offer one-day deliveries to their customers without charging shipping fees.

The race to provide the service follows Walmart’s announcement that it would offer the same service only weeks after Amazon had made a similar announcement.

In the last week of April, Amazon revealed that its Amazon Prime customers would benefit from a plan that would see the e-commerce giant deliver packages in one day. The company expected to spend nearly $800 million on this project, with most of the money used in Q2.

Now Walmart has plans for the same and has offered to cover up to 220,000 items that the company says feature among those most frequently purchased. The items include toys, electronics and laundry detergents and will now be part of the one-day shipping provided the orders are $35 or more.

According to Walmart’s head of e-commerce for the U.S. market Marc Lore, the one-day shipping offer is set to benefit the retailer’s online shoppers in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Later on, the offer will expand to cover customers in Southern California.

Lore added that the company will look to gradually roll out its offer, targeting to cover about 75% of the U.S. market by the end of 2019. As per its projections, this will see Walmart reach 40 out of 50 metro areas in the United States.

Amazon and Walmart have over the years tried to outdo each other as they fight to offer the best to their customers, and one-day shipping is just one of the latest battlefronts.

Walmart already offers two-day free shipping as well as same-day grocery delivery and has reportedly been working on this project (one-day shipping) for a few years now.

According to Lore, the move is likely to cost less compared to current arrangements as the company will deliver orders for the new service from warehouses located near the customer. The orders will also be in a single box as opposed to the multiple packages that translate to more costs.

Walmart expects to set aside $215 million for this, to be done in incremental investments.