In an era where consumers expect online purchases to arrive more quickly than ever, Walmart is jumping on the trend and launching a new membership program.
"Walmart+" launched Sept. 15, allowing subscribers to get unlimited free delivery, as fast as same-day, on more than 160,000 items with in-store prices.
Walmart+ appears to be the brand's answer to Amazon Prime. Prime was launched in 2005 and has more than 150 million members who pay $119 a year, or $12.99 a month, for faster shipping, discounts at Amazon's Whole Foods supermarkets, access to its video streaming site and more.
Walmart is offering a 15-day free trial of the service to entice customers to give it a try. Once that trial period ends, Walmart+ will cost $12.95 a month or $98 a year.
The new subscription service will also offer members "Scan & Go," a new, touch-free way to shop in store. Using the Walmart app, customers can scan their items as they shop and pay using Walmart Pay in-app.
Another Walmart+ perk includes fuel discounts. Members can save up to 5 cents a gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express stations. Walmart says Sam's Club fuel stations will soon be added to the list.
Walmart said that it intends to add additional benefits to the program at a later date.
Walmart previously offered a program called "Delivery Unlimited," which offered subscribers unlimited deliveries for a flat yearly or monthly fee. Walmart says current Delivery Unlimited subscribers will automatically become Walmart+ members.