The retail battleground in Canada is fierce and Wal-Mart just announced another tactical play offering free shipping on all of its household items. The move is seen by analysts as a way for Wal-Mart to compete with Amazon’s subscription services.
The pricing structure appears to be a long term plan and is applicable to several consumable item categories including health and beauty, grocery, baby and household.
There is no minimum order required to receive free shipping at Wal-Mart, which is a competitive advantage over Target’s $50 minimum. To better compete with Amazon’s subscription service Wal-Mart Canada is also promoting online orders that can be shipped at later dates to help save customers time and avoid forgetting to purchase necessities.
Canada is an underdeveloped e-commerce market compared to the U.S., Brazil and the United Kingdom. As of January 2014 non store sales represent 2.3% of total retail for the Canadian market.
Some analysts think Wal-Mart might be using Canada as a test market for this type of service. Others say it’s necessary given the tough competitive retail climate north of the U.S. border.