The price war between Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) just got hotter.
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In an effort to lure even more customers to its platform, Amazon this week quietly slashed its threshold for free shipping for non-Prime member by $10. Shoppers who aren’t part of the e-commerce giant’s membership program – which, among other benefits, offers free two-day shipping on all orders regardless of basket size– can now earn free five to eight-day shipping with qualifying orders of $25 or more.
Though the company didn’t formally announce the change in its free-shipping threshold, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the decision to FOX Business on Tuesday, but declined to elaborate on the motivation behind it. Details were also posted on the retail giant’s website.
The move comes after Walmart earlier this year rolled out free two-day shipping on orders of $35 or more, and after it dangled even more online-order discounts in front of consumers last month. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company’s Pickup Discount lowered the prices on about 10,000 items for customers who chose to have the order shipped to a physical retail store instead of directing it to their homes. The idea was to create more discounts for shoppers while also lowering shipping costs on the so-called last mile of delivery, which can be the most expensive part of the shipping process.
Since purchasing Amazon competitor Jet.com last year, Walmart has moved more aggressively to compete on price with Amazon, a company largely credited with sparking the retail industry’s massive move to online shopping. Now, many younger shoppers – especially those in large cities – rely on Amazon for same or next-day shipping on household goods, groceries, gifts and other merchandise.
Shares of Amazon rose as high as $957.89 to a fresh 52-week high on Tuesday after taking the wraps off its Echo Show, the newest device in its Echo hardware lineup.