Walmart, the super mega retail giant – who’s also getting its fair share of attention in the TikTok sweepstakes – launched Walmart+ last week.
In what seems to be an attempt to win over at-home consumers during COVID, Walmart+ will be offering free delivery from its 4700 U.S. stores to subscribers, among other perks and member-only benefits.
Some say it’s basically a rebranding of their existing Grocery Unlimited program, but we will argue that:
- Branding is, sometimes, everything.
- Whatever is included in this service now, it’s far from being the end of it.
With fuel discounts at gas stations, early access to product deals, an available credit card, and more – this is quite literally only the beginning.
Not to mention delivery options, with unlimited same-day plus limited express 2-hour delivery.
And when you consider customers will also be able to save time when ordering, when checking out using the Walmart app, and with faster in-store checkout times with a contactless payment option that is on offer – it does seem to be at least an evolution of the Grocery Unlimited.
And don’t forget, it isn’t coming out of the blue (no brand-pun intended). Therew will be more, simply because Walmart’s eCommerce intents are clear. Their interest in TikTok and teaming up with Microsoft in a bid over the trending social media app is yet another highly publicized move that can potentially play a huge role in the company’s expansion of its online presence.
“We are a company committed to meeting our customers’ needs,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer at Walmart.
“Customers know they can trust us and depend on us, and we’ve designed this program as the ultimate life hack for them. Walmart+ will bring together a comprehensive set of benefits where we see the greatest needs from our customers and where our scale can bring solutions at an unprecedented value.”
No doubt, this move is about checking most boxes of excellent CRM. Walmert is losing online customers to other, more advanced platforms and services., and stopping this trend is a crucial goal.
But there’s more to it, as it’s not all about retention and loyalty.
Notice how we still did not mention “the others” by name? So now is the time: this whole thing als also meant to be the Amazon Prime killer.
Which will not happen, it’s important to say it right out of the gates. No one will kill Amazon Prime, a service with the market share of tap water. But a brand can hope.
Because being anything close to Amazon Prime will mean a huge success to anyone. A 2019 survey by Feedvisor found that 48% of Prime members said they made one or more purchases per week, and they spend more than twice as much as non-members on Amazon annually.
And while Walmart’s nearly 5000 physical locations will surely help the new service catch on, Amazon offers more than 10 million items for free one-day Prime delivery – and the variety is something Walmart would have a hard time competing with. SO, they will have to come up with other advantages.
And with its deep pockets, an abundance of stores, a significant existing digital presence (don’t forget Jet, too), and the interest in developing strong eCommerce capabilities with or without TikTok – following Walmart’s moves to make this thing a big deal that can allure customers away from Amazon Prime would be a lesson for all marketers in the months to come.
“We know shopping should fit customers’ needs, not the other way around. We have always been a champion for the right item at the right price, but now it’s more than that. We have the right shopping solutions at the right time, too.”
As all CRM people know, it’s all about the right message, at the right time, in the right channel.
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