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Walmart Plus drops $35 order minimum to battle Amazon Prime

Even tiny orders could arrive the next day.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 2, 2020
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RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 03: An Amazon Prime delivery van sits parked near a Walmart store on September 03, 2020 in Richmond, California. Walmart has announced plans to launch Walmart Plus delivery service to compete with Amazon Prime. The $98 per year service will offer free delivery of food and items available from nearby stores. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Walmart hasn’t been shy about challenging Amazon Prime with its Plus service, and that now includes no-charge shipping. CNBC reports that Walmart Plus is dropping its $35 order minimum for free one- or two-day shipping as of December 4th. You won’t have to add something superfluous to your order just to get free shipping for a must-have item, in other words.

The loosened restrictions don’t apply to deliveries from Walmart stores for items like groceries. Walmart Plus costs $98 per year.

Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside pitched this as a “life hack” to obtain holiday gifts and treats that much sooner. However, there’s little doubt that this is meant to undermine Amazon’s minimum. You might be more likely to buy from Walmart if you aren’t worried about reaching a certain threshold every time you make a purchase.

It’s not clear how this will affect your ability to get orders during a holiday season where online shipping will play a vital role. While it could put added strain on couriers by leading to more orders, it could also reduce the chance of shortages by letting people order only what they want, not what they need to hit that $35 target. Regardless, this could be welcome if you’re not keen on risking your health just to buy some toys at the local store.

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