Wal-Mart cuts ShippingPass delivery time

US retail giant Wal-Mart is going head to head with Amazon by reducing the delivery time of its ShippingPass membership programme from three days to two. It has also reduced the delivery time for its ShoppingPass free shipping programme from three days to two.

In the US, Amazon Prime operates on a free, two day shipping system – unlike in the UK where next day delivery is on offer as part of the Prime membership deal.

Wal-Mart is looking to undercut its online giant rival, with the charge for the ShippingPass being US $49 a year as against Amazon’s $99 annual fee. Prime does come with a number of extra benefits beyond delivery, to include streaming video, music and where it is available geographically, the Prime Now one and two hour options for same day delivery.

Wal-Mart claims that it can offer more affordable shipping as the company says it has a “unique fulfillment network that includes new large fulfillment centers, stores, distribution centers and our transportation network”.

The ShippingPass scheme is still classed as a pilot programme, so it is not available to all customers across the US. It looks to be a direct strike against Amazon, many of whose customers tend only to use the free delivery scheme with few of the extra benefits that the online giant offers.

With the rise and amazing success of Amazon it really isn’t a surprise that established retail giants are looking for a piece of the action that it seems to have largely created for itself. In the UK, Sainsbury’s has recently done a deal worth £1.4bn to buy up Argos and thereby do the same thing as Wal-Mart is in the US…