Walmart is dropping its $35 minimum order requirement to qualify for its Express two-hour delivery service, the retailer announced on Monday. The move puts Walmart’s e-commerce platform on better footing to compete with Amazon Prime, which has offered customers same-day delivery for certain items in specific markets through its Prime Now service since 2016.
Walmart’s Express service promises two-hour delivery of “Walmart’s food, consumables and general merchandise assortment,” which includes produce, pantry items, household essentials, and other products. It typically costs $10 on top of a standard delivery fee ranging from $7.95 or $9.95, but Walmart waives the delivery fee if you subscribe to its Prime-like Walmart Plus subscription.
Walmart Express first launched in April of last year, and the company says it’s now available in close to 3,000 locations that reach 70 percent of the US population. Following today’s announcement, Express delivery may actually be a more attractive option than Amazon’s Prime Now, which still has a $35 order limit and is restricted to certain markets. It should, however, be noted that Prime Now is free for Prime members and only $4.99 per order if you don’t meet the order minimum, making it less expensive in the long run.
“Many customers use Express delivery for when they’re in a pinch, whether it be a missing ingredient for a weeknight dinner or a pack of diapers,” Tom Ward, Walmart’s senior vice president of customer product, said in a statement. “Customers told us sometimes the items they needed in a hurry didn’t meet the minimum, so we’re removing it, making it even easier for customers to get what they need when they need it.”
Walmart is slowly but surely catching up to the extreme convenience offered by its rival Amazon. Walmart last December dropped a similar $35 minimum order requirement for its Walmart Plus free next-day and two-day shipping perk, which put Walmart Plus on par with Amazon Prime in that regard. The retailer has also been expanding its grocery delivery options to better compete with Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods, both of which have been Amazon’s footholds into real-world commerce.