Walmart's 'Non-Loyalty' Strategy: An Inside View

Updated: Sep 1

A quick look at three services the retailer is using to drive shopper loyalty without discounting prices.

Wait — Walmart has a loyalty program?


No. Strictly speaking, Walmart doesn’t have a loyalty program. In the traditional sense of the term, loyalty programs provide additional savings to shoppers as they spend more at a retailer.


Walmart, on the other hand, has always worked with its suppliers to keep their costs down so that those savings can be passed on to shoppers through Everyday Low Prices, and a savings-based loyalty program would go against this EDLP pricing strategy.


However, to remain competitive in a constantly evolving marketplace, Walmart has implemented several initiatives designed to build shopper loyalty by instead offering convenience, time savings and personalized customer service. And, despite the fact that they require shoppers to pay additional costs, all three seem to be resonating with their target audience.

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PICKUP & DELIVERY



How It Works:

Shoppers select their local store, add items to their carts and then choose a pickup or delivery time.


For pickup, shoppers check in during the chosen time frame before arriving at a specially designated parking spot, where a store associate greets them and loads the order into their vehicle.


For delivery, shoppers receive their orders at the specified address during the chosen timeframe.


Shopper Benefits: ● Saves shopping time.

● Completes trip without entering the store.

● Fulfillment as fast as same day.

● A ”favorites” list makes future add-to-cart orders even easier.

● Products offered at same in-store EDLPs.


Cost:

Pickup: Free

Delivery: $7.95 + auto-calculated tip


SO WHAT? For shoppers, choosing a retailer is no longer just about saving money. They’re looking to save time and effort, as well — so how can you help shoppers save more than just money?


OPPORTUNITY: Serve up even more convenience by offering shoppers easy-solution bundles via landing pages. For example: all the ingredients for a green bean casserole, a greeting card, gift bag and tissue, or immediate healthcare needs — all easily added to the cart with one click!


 


Walmart+




How It Works:

Shoppers sign up and pay an annual membership fee. A free one-month trial is available (but must be cancelled to avoid charges), providing an easy gateway to membership.


Shopper Benefits:

  • Free same-day delivery from store ($35 minimum order, auto-calculated tip required).

  • Free shipping on all orders from Walmart.com (no minimum).

  • First dibs on the most popular home delivery times.

  • Exclusive sales events (like a 40% off "top tech and more"promo in February 2022).

  • Early access to special promotions like Black Friday deals and console gaming releases.

  • Select Rx prescriptions for as little as $0.

  • 5 cents/gallon discount on fuel purchases.

  • Access to Sam’s Club gas stations and prices.

  • Mobile scan & go for fast in-store checkout.


Cost: $98/year


SO WHAT? Walmart is looking for ways to add shopper value beyond price, which until recently involved access to deals and exclusive products like PS5. This program is a direct effort to compete with Amazon Prime. So what content, incentives or access can you give Walmart+ members?


OPPORTUNITY: Through Walmart Connect, there could be future potential to target Walmart+ members based on purchase behavior and browsing history. For instance: targeting new product launches by category, pet owners, new parents or smartphone shopping.


 


WALMART INHOME



How It Works:

Shoppers sign up for membership and pay the annual fee.

Associates deliver home orders to a specific location of the shopper’s choosing: porch, garage or inside. They enter the property using the owner’s entry keypad, a supplied smart door lock or a supplied smart garage opener. The delivery timeframe runs from 9am to 6pm.

Associates are tenured, vetted, specially trained, and backed by $1 million worth of liability insurance. Members can watch the delivery live or via recording. The InHome team is small, so members will get to know their associates over time.


Shopper Benefits: All Walmart+ benefits and: ● No tips or per-order charges.

● Management of Walmart returns.

● Walmart Rx delivery.

● Peace of mind that orders are securely on the property.


Cost: $148/year


SO WHAT? This service opens up delivery for additional categories that require refrigeration and provides an additional level of order security. In an ever-competitive landscape, Walmart is continually looking for ways to create a point of difference.


OPPORTUNITY: Provide product samples to create a more well-rounded solution for members. Also, consider offering relevant branded in-home services, like free installation with TV purchase.


 

At The Mars Agency, we are committed to being leaders in innovation. To help our clients stay ahead of the competition in a fast-paced and constantly evolving marketplace, we closely monitor any and all news across the Walmart ecosystem so clients stay “in-the-know” about this key customer. Victoria Van Dusen, SVP-Client Leadership, heads up our Walmart team in Bentonville. Contact her: [email protected].