Following an earlier test, Walmart is rolling out its ‘Delivery Unlimited’ programme. This enables customers to receive unlimited grocery delivery orders for an annual fee of $98, or $12.95 monthly.
Extended to 200 metro areas
The programme will be extended to 200 metro areas following the launch of a pilot programme in Houston, Miami, Salt Lake City and Tampa earlier this year. This aligns with the retailer’s strategic objective to make every day easier for busy families and supports the development of its grocery ecommerce business. This is currently in growth mode, with delivery being extended to 1,600 stores and store pickup to 3,100 stores this year.
Taking on Amazon and Target
The new service competes with Amazon Prime and Target’s Shipt membership-based, programme for grocery delivery. It can be a useful tool in locking-in customer loyalty and limiting switching to other services. As competitors roll-out their ecommerce offers, consumers have more choices for online grocery shopping. While the fee only covers Walmart’s grocery delivery service, there is the potential to incorporate additional products and services. Walmart’s UK-based business, Asda, has offered a similar ‘Delivery Pass’ service for several years.
Building delivery density
Walmart works with a range of partners to offer home delivery. This model should enable it to build delivery density, potentially improving the profitability of the service. This remains a key challenge for the industry. This has driven experimentation and innovation, with a range of fulfillment models currently being tested. Earlier this year, Albertsons started testing a similar subscription-based service, with promising initial results. However, the growing number of subscription services available to consumers, not only in retail, but also for other products and services, will require retailers to develop compelling offers .
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