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Week of Free Shipping Rolled out by Wal-Mart Ahead of Amazon’s Prime Day

Week of Free Shipping Rolled out by Wal-Mart Ahead of Amazon’s Prime Day
Amazon and Wal-Mart are at loggerheads once again.
Wal-Mart is eliminating the $50 minimum spending requirement for shoppers to receive free shipping on their online orders just hours before Amazon's second Prime Day sales event, a self-invented holiday that offers exclusive deals for members of its subscription service.
Prime Day sales have turned into a crucial part of the online retailer Amazon’s growth plan. It is expected by Amazon that the second annual Prime Day event on July 12 would be bigger than that of last year. However more sales on Prime Day were generated by Amazon in 2015 in comparison to Black Friday.

The year-end shopping season in the United States is kicked off officially on Black Friday.

It has slashed prices on a handful of products, including a Samsung 55-inch 4K TV for $598 which is half the usual price, the discount retailer also said.
At the end of June Wal-Mart started offering a free 30-day trial for ShippingPass, its answer to Amazon’s Prime and the latest deals are in addition to that promotional offer.
Compared with $99 for a Prime membership of Amazon the annual subscription service by Wal-Mart gives shoppers free unlimited two-day shipping for $49. However additional perks such as video streaming are included in Prime.
Since it announced the free trial last week, the number of daily sign-ups for Shipping Pass has more than quadrupled, Wal-Mart said. Wal-Mart used to put shoppers on a waiting list before they could join until recently despite first launching the subscription service as a pilot last May.
Last year Wal-Mart had reduced the minimum spending requirement for free shipping to $35 and its latest swipe at Amazon's day of deals is similar to the approach it took last year.
Wal-Mart has looked to sweeten its offers in an effort to compete with an aggressive Amazon with respect to the number of deals tied Prime Day and including the rolling out discounts in the week leading up to the July 12 event.
Spokesman Ravi Jariwala of Wal-Mart said that the online rollbacks will be extended offers beyond just a single day.
However the exact time limit that its new price cuts would last was not specified by the company. Its rollbacks typically last 90 days, Wal-Mart has said in the past with regard to such offers and promotional programs. Jariwala said that how long it will offer its free 30-day ShippingPass trial has not yet been decided by the discount retailer.
Wal-Mart's promotion for free shipping with no minimum purchase runs through Friday. The aim of Wal-Mart of organizing this promotional offer scheme is to keep its customers from straying, attract new shoppers to its online platform and take a slice of that fast-growing online sales piece during the middle of the year.
Compared with 17% a year earlier, Wal-Mart’s sales through the company’s website and mobile app increased 7% in the latest quarter and its e-commerce business and its online sales growth is slowing. The offer is also part of Wal-Mart’s broader strategy to strengthen its e-commerce business.
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Christopher J. Mitchell

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