Walmart has been trialing a rival service to the free shipping part of Amazon Prime for a while, but ShippingPass is finally ready for prime time.
The service costs $49 a year, in return for which you get unlimited free two-day shipping. It’s half the price of Amazon’s $99 a year Prime, but it also doesn’t come with all the bells, whistles, and free streaming services that Prime members get access to.
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Existing and new subscribers can both take advantage of a 30-day free trial to ShippingPass, if you want to try out the service and see if it’s for you. I can’t imagine it being radically different to Amazon Prime, but the offer of a free trial is never to be snubbed.
The price is the clearest possible proof that Walmart sees Amazon as an existential threat to its business. From all the available numbers, Prime isn’t really a money-maker for Amazon — all the shipping costs it too much — so it’s mostly a way to kill the competition, and make people habitual Amazon shoppers.
Assuming that Walmart’s free shipping program is also a money loser, it’s interesting to see how much the world’s largest retailer is willing to spend in order to challenge Amazon. Either way, the result for consumers is a good choice between multiple cheap shipping options, so I won’t complain.