Amazon’s yearly Prime subscription is supposed to be the ultimate in lazy shopping: pay an annual fee, and in return order as much stuff as you want for home delivery, thanks to the free two-day shipping.

In Amazon’s model, you trade a modest fixed fee for ultimate convenience and the wonders of never having to put on clothes and leave your home. But Walmart is trying something different.

Pickup Discount is a new Walmart program that offers customers a discount on items bought online, but only if they pick them up at a store. The discounts vary, but it seems like some items that would be expensive for Walmart to ship (a TV, for example) get discounted by up to $50.

That’s a good discount, which Walmart can fund as it’s saving big-time on the cost of shipping. It also gets you into Walmart, which means there’s also a chance you’ll impulse-buy a $3 pair of sunglasses, bumping up the margins even more.

Not everything gets a Pickup Discount. Initially, Walmart is planning on rolling the program out to 10,000 products across 4,700 stores. However, the ambitions go up from there, as Walmart wants to offer a discount on a million items by June.

Walmart is also taking this as a chance to make its in-store pickup system slicker and faster for customers to use. Expect to see curbside pickup and automated collection machines roll out, so that even if you have to go to a store to get your packages, you still won’t actually have to talk to anyone while doing it.

Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.