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Walmart steps up Prime Day competition


Walmart was offering its own July online savings event before Amazon Prime Day was officially announced, and now the discount giant is sweetening its deal.

Walmart is offering all customers free shipping with no minimum purchase on its e-commerce site from Monday, July 11 – Friday, July 15. This builds on a previously announced online promotion that offers a free 30-day trial of the retailer’s ShippingPass program, which provides consumers unlimited, two-day free shipping for a year.

The free ShippingPass trial offer is still in place, but this new offer takes things a step further. Notably, Amazon Prime Day is only open to members of the Amazon Prime unlimited delivery service, which costs $99 per year. Amazon is offering its own free 30-day trial, but Walmart can now reach consumers who may be wary of signing up for an online service.

In a press release, Walmart did not mention Amazon or Prime Day by name, but made it clear the timing of its latest online discount offer is not coincidental.

“At Walmart, we believe saving money every day is better than just one, and that all customers should save, not only some,” said the release. “To help ALL customers save even more, just announced free shipping with no minimum purchase, starting Monday, July 11 through Friday, July 15.”

Furthermore, Walmart is offering several new online rollback deals on big-ticket items such as HDTVs, laptops, iPhones and Xbox game consoles.

In addition to offering its own July online sales event, Walmart has also treaded on Amazon’s turf by providing online grocery delivery and cloud management services, as well as by testing delivery drones. In 2015, Walmart competed with the hugely successful Prime Day event by lowering the minimum order for free shipping from $50 to $35 and lowering online prices for thousands of items.

Walmart also heavily counterprogrammed against Prime Day in 2015, and Amazon still had a rousing success with the event. It is unlikely that Walmart or any other retailer will have any serious impact on Prime Day performance this year, regardless of what they offer. But that is not the point. With this undertaking, Walmart is putting Amazon and consumers on notice that it considers the world’s most successful e-commerce retailer as a legitimate target for stealing online market share.
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