Wal-Mart Stores Inc. continues to cut in on Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Day.
On Monday Wal-Mart began offering free shipping with no minimum order—a promotion that will run through Friday—and is cutting prices on additional products. Wal-Mart’s usual threshold for free shipping is $50.
In a thinly veiled jab at Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, Wal-Mart (No. 4) last week cut prices on thousands of products, including laptops, TVs and other consumer electronics. “We heard some customers might be waiting all the way until next Tuesday to save online. At Wal-Mart, customers don’t have to wait to save money,” a Wal-Mart spokesman said.
Amazon Prime Day is 24-hour sales event that starts at 12:01 a.m. Pacific on Tuesday. It features discounts of at least 20% and more than 100,000 deals for customers who belong to Prime, Amazon’s loyalty program that includes expedited shipping on millions of eligible products, as well as streaming video and music, for a $99 annual fee.
On Walmart.com, a banner promotion Monday says, “Dare to Compare. Top products. Lower Prices.* Check for yourself,” with the asterisk denoting “At or lower than Amazon’s prices.” Wal-Mart used a similar tactic in 2015 when Amazon held its first Prime Day to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
In the run-up to Prime Day, Wal-Mart also is heavily promoting 30-day free trial memberships to ShippingPass, its two-day delivery program that costs $49 annually. Enrollment in the program is growing rapidly, with daily enrollments quadrupling compared with the week before, a Wal-Mart spokesman said last week. The retailer did not disclose the number of consumers who have signed up. Wal-Mart announced the ShippingPass free trial on June 29 in a blog post titled “Liberty and Low Prices for All,” by Fernando Madeira, Walmart.com’s president and CEO. “Walmart is known for everyday low prices, and when we have a special price, it isn’t just for a fleeting moment,” he wrote.
Toys ‘R’ Us is taking a similar approach by not calling out Amazon specifically when it said Monday that it will offer 15% off regular-priced items and more than 50,000 toys and products on sale starting at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday. “We know that retail is a highly competitive environment and we want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to save, no membership required,” a spokeswoman says.
Other retailers also are riding the Prime Day wave. Electronics e-retailer Newegg Inc. (No. 17), will run its Fantastech sales event Tuesday for a second year to coincide with Prime Day. J.C. Penney (No. 33) will run a sale dubbed “Penney Palooza” on Monday through Tuesday, while Kohl’s (No. 19) started a string of daily deals on Sunday that will run through Thursday online and in store.
Prime Day is Amazon’s event, but has an impact across the online retail industry. A report from data analytics firm SimilarWeb found that the top 25 online retailers in the United States recorded 179 million visits between desktop and mobile devices during last year’s Prime Day, much higher than their daily averages. That made July 15, 2015, the fourth-largest day from a traffic perspective for those 25 retailers, behind Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving, respectively.
Get a closer look at Prime Day statistics with a free download of Internet Retailer’s infographic here.