Walmart extends its brand new "Delivery Unlimited" grocery delivery membership program to several stores across the United States, with plans to reach over 50% of the country by the end of the year. The new program allows regular grocery delivery customers to pay either an annual fee of $ 98 or $ 12.95 on a monthly basis instead of paying the usual $ 9.99 per delivery fee. These options make Walmart grocery delivery cheaper for those who order at least twice a month or more.
The program also gives Walmart a better way to compete with competing food delivery services including Amazon Prime Now / Whole Foods, Instacart and Shipt, all of which offer subscription memberships.
Shipt is currently charging $ 99 annually, and Target recently announced a way for Shipt customers to pay a $ 9.99 order fee for the first time, using a Shipt integration on Target.com. Instacart, meanwhile, cut the annual fee to $ 99 in November. Prime Now is the most expensive option at $ 1
In June, TechCrunch broke the news that Walmart's food delivery program was being tested indefinitely in Houston, Miami, Salt Lake City, and Tampa.
These customers responded positively, which is why the retailer decided to launch the program to several US markets.
To begin with, it includes all 200 metro areas where Walmart grocery delivery is available today. By fall, it will reach 1,400 stores. And by year-end, it will reach 1,600+ – or more than half of the United States.
The program offers no other benefits, beyond the savings for Walmart Grocery's regular buyers. However, it has the benefit of locking customers into Walmart groceries and increasing their returns and loyalty.
Walmart's grocery business has grown steadily over the years, and has become a favorite alternative to expensive services such as Instacart where individual products are marked as a means of generating revenue. Walmart, on the other hand, charges the same online as in stores – the only extra cost is the delivery fee and tip. (Pickup is free).
Today, Walmart offers grocery pickup in nearly 3,000 stores and Walmart employs more than 45,000 personal buyers to fill its online grocery orders. As mentioned, Walmart is delivering groceries on route for over 1,600 stores this year.
Unlike some grocery delivery provider, Walmart does not operate its own network of delivery professionals or independent contractors. Instead, Walmart is partnering with delivery providers across the United States, including Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire, Roadie, Postmates and DoorDash. It has also tried, and then terminated, relationships with Deliv, Uber and Lyft.
"We have invested in our online grocery business by rapidly expanding our grocery pickup and delivery services
. Delivery Unlimited is the next step in that journey," said Tom Ward, Senior Vice President of Digital
Operations, Walmart US, in a statement about the launch. "By putting together our size and scale and these services, we make Walmart the easiest place to shop. Combine that with the value we can provide, our customers can't lose, "he said.
Last month, Walmart reported its 20th consecutive quarter in sales profits in the US, with $ 130.38 million in sales, earnings per share of $ 1.27 and net revenue to $ 3.61 billion, which beats expectations, saying at the time that e-commerce sales had grown 37% in the quarter, largely due to the rollout of next-day grocery delivery and grocery delivery.  Delivery Unlimited will not replace payment per delivery fee – it will remain an option for those who do not want to subscribe. Customers will be able to see if the service is available in the market by visiting the Walmart Grocery website.