Walmart is rolling out free next-day shipping on its most popular items, raising the stakes in the retail shipping wars with Amazon.
The country’s biggest retailer said Tuesday it has been building a network of more effective e-commerce distribution centers to make that happen.
The next-day service will cover 220,000 favorite items from diapers and non-perishable food items to electronics and toys. That is almost double the number of products it carries in its shops.
The move will only increase stress on other competitions that are currently investing in millions of bucks to shorten the delivery window.
Amazon changed consumer expectations as it launched its expedited delivery for Prime members back in 2005 and forced additional retailers to step up their game. However, analysts state that Amazon then had to cut the delivery time in half to create its membership more appealing because others like Walmart, provided free two-day deliveries without any membership.
Two years back, Walmart started offering free expedited delivery on millions of items on its site for orders of $35. Target also provides free two-day delivery for those who invest at least $35 or utilize its RedCard loyalty card. Walmart continues to be expanding same-day grocery delivery service fulfilled from its stores for a cost of about $10.
Walmart has one significant advantage over Amazon – its more than 4,700 stores.
Walmart has also been expanding the use of robots at its own stores, which keep tabs on what’s on rather than on the shelves. Meanwhile, Target has redesigned its staging area for packages to help accelerate fulfilling curbside deliveries.