Walmart Sinks Its Claws Into Amazon Prime With $50 Per Year Unlimited Shipping Service

Amazon has been virtually untouchable in the online shopping space and a big reason for that is Amazon Prime, a $99 per year membership offering free two-day shipping on millions of qualifying items. Looking to challenge the online behemoth is Walmart, the mega-chain that dominates offline shopping. In an attempt to give Amazon a run for its money on its home turf, Walmart will reportedly test a new unlimited online shipping service later this summer.

According to Reuters, the pilot program will cost subscribers $50 per year in exchange for free shipping on select products found on Walmart's website. Shipments will take three days or less, versus Amazon's two-day window. As for the number items that will be available, Walmart didn't specify, though its website is home to more than 7 million items.

Walmart Truck

Walmart's service will kick off as an invitation only affair. Company spokesman Ravi Jariwala said that customer feedback will ultimately determine how the program evolves from there, so there's a chance this could be a short lived venture. Likewise, it could also become a major competitor to Amazon and its Prime membership.

It's going to boil down to price versus features. Amazon's Prime membership is overflowing with subscriber benefits that extend beyond free two-day shipping. However, Walmart's shipping service will cost half as much, and if the company's selection is broad enough, Amazon will have a serious competitor to deal with.