Holy ship: Walmart rivals Amazon Prime with $50 shipping service

Drones sold separately

Walmart Tahoe Amazon Prime

Walmart has unveiled its plans for an unlimited shipping service to compete with Amazon Prime, at half the cost.

Prime has been king of the proverbial mountain when it comes to delivering goods to your doorstep fast, but Walmart will begin testing its rival service this summer at $50, essentially half the price of Prime ($99).

Walmart's service, codenamed "Tahoe," will offer shipping on over a million of its top-selling items, compared to the 7 million products on its online store. The service will be offered by invitation only to start.

Walmart says that it plans on the service delivering customers' orders within three days, which is a bit more vague and potentially frustrating than Prime's straight-shooting, free two-day shipping. Granted, once in a blue moon Amazon has issues with following through on this promise, but overall, Amazon users are used to the exactness that Prime sells.

Let the Shipping Wars begin

For this, and the fact that it lacks video and music streaming, Walmart is sure to be in for an uphill battle in poaching loyal subscribers from Amazon. Tahoe will most likely find its market in new users looking to save on daily essentials.

Although parallels to Amazon's key features are missing from the first edition of Tahoe, Walmart may extend it beyond shipping, if all goes well in its testing. According to The Information, who first reported Walmart's shipping service, Walmart hopes to add its video streaming service, Vudu. The world's largest retailer looks to include same-day grocery delivery as well, which it already offers in five test markets.

Walmart is working to reach the modern generation of shoppers with this new rival to Amazon Prime, but has a ways to go before it rivals the immediacy that Prime offers online.

Even on Walmart's site in the past, the retailer has struggled to meet its own shipping deadlines. However, Tahoe may have a chance to gain a foothold with new users (and Walmart frequenters) with its greatly reduced price compared to Prime.

Via Reuters

Lead image credit Walmart

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