September 15, 2020
On the day of the company’s highly anticipated membership launch, Walmart says it is already factoring pandemic needs into Walmart Plus’s perks. Janey Whiteside, Walmart's executive vice president and chief customer officer, told Cheddar the biggest pandemic-related features of the membership are centered around the Unlimited Free Delivery and Scan & Go options.
“We designed this by looking at what we knew that our customers wanted and needed,” she said, explaining that the core of the program also came from Walmart’s existing customer base.
The Scan & Go feature is one example of that. “The number one thing we heard from customers, pre- but also during the pandemic, is, ‘I want to get in and out of that store when I choose to go, as quickly as I possibly can.’”
However, Whiteside noted that while the company is working to offer unlimited free delivery across the U.S., it isn’t available everywhere yet. Users can go to the Walmart+ website to find out if their address is covered.
She also announced that customers enrolled in the Unlimited Delivery pilot, which rolled out in June, were automatically upgraded into Walmart+ today.
With Walmart+, customers can shop from more than 160,000 items which will come from the store to their door through the program. “We like to think about that as the most highly-curated items on the planet which exist in our supercenters today,” said Whiteside.
Heading into the busy holiday season "like no other," with looming concerns about another round of lockdowns, Whiteside told Cheddar her team is confident in Walmart’s supply chain.
“We obviously have anticipated a number of new members coming on,” Whiteside told Cheddar. “So we are confident around our ability to get the goods to people.”
Walmart also recently announced a drone delivery pilot, but Whiteside said it won’t be dropping off Walmart+ packages anytime soon. “As we work our way through [drone testing] and understand how it works and how we tie it to customer needs, I'm excited about how we roll that in over the coming weeks, months, years.”
Walmart+ comes at a lower price than its main competitor, Amazon Prime, which charges $119 a year. Walmart’s membership will cost $98 annually or just over $12 monthly including a 15-day free trial.