Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Amazon strikes back again at Walmart's free 2-day shipping offer

Amazon strikes back again at Walmart's free 2-day shipping offer

"The fact that Amazon didn't outright match Wal-mart's free shipping timeline shows their continued commitment to the recurring revenue Prime model". "I don't think there's any way over the immediate term, even with the aggressive policies that Marc Lore and Wal-Mart are introducing, that Wal-Mart is going to be disruptive overnight to Amazon's business - with the exception of pricing". For 50 million items, the basic Prime program offers free shipping in two days.

Amazon Prime Members, of course, have free shipping on all Prime-eligible products - but they have to pay their monthly/annual subscription fee. Target has launched a pilot program where it's testing next-day delivery for certain home essentials. Prime members don't have to spend a minimum to qualify for free shipping.

Amazon has once again lowered its minimum order total for free shipping to $25 - the second time the company has dropped the threshold this year in what appears to be a price battle with its rival, Wal-Mart. And the Wal-Mart program does not require people who use it to be members of any of Wal-Mart's credit card plans or shipping plans.

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Target, like Wal-Mart, has been touting the ability for a consumer to order online and pickup in store or to return an online order at a physical store. Amazon offers free same-day delivery for millions of other items. The idea as it now stands, however, seems like an idea that may appeal to Target's core customer, but not one that will win it any Amazon or Wal-Mart loyalists.

In February, the retailer dropped the minimum to $35 from $49 right after Walmart rolled out free two-day shipping for all customers on orders over $35. Serving people who can wait one, but not two, days may prove to be perhaps too much of a niche audience for Target.

The retailer just lowered its free-shipping minimum to $25 from $35 for customers who aren't members of its Prime membership program.

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