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03/01/2021

Walmart Changes 2-Hour Delivery to Boost Member Benefits

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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Walmart has dropped the $35 minimum order requirement on its 2-hour Express delivery service for all its customers, but its Walmart+ members will be able to access the speedy delivery for less.  

With the minimum removed, Walmart will only require a $10 Express fee from Walmart+ members to have food, consumables, general merchandise and more delivered to their doorsteps in two hours or less. For all others, Express delivery costs $10 on top of the existing delivery charge of $7.95 or $9.95.

For contrast, Amazon's Prime Now service, only available to its Prime members, carries a $4.99 delivery fee which is dropped if the shopper places an order that's at least $35. However, Amazon’s service is available in select markets, while Walmart’s Express delivery is currently offered in nearly 3,000 Walmart stores (out of 4,743 total U.S. stores), reaching nearly 70% of the U.S. population.

Walmart began piloting Express delivery in 100 stores last April. The contactless delivery service employs machine learning to fulfill orders, fulfilled by 170,000 trained personal shoppers who pick customers’ orders. Developed by the company’s in-house global technology team, the system accounts for such variables as order quantity, staffing levels, the types of delivery vehicles available, and estimated route length between a store and home. It also pulls in weather data to account for delivery speeds, and is consistently refining its estimates for future orders.

"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,” said Tom Ward, SVP of customer product. “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.”

Like Walmart’s pickup and delivery service, there is no markup on items – an item is priced the same as it is on the shelf. Walmart’s curbside pickup, delivery, and Free Delivery with Walmart+ fulfillment services all still carry a $35 minimum.