The country’s two biggest mass merchants are battling Amazon.com, and each other, for market share this holiday season, and as price reductions on deals continue to escalate, the race to deliver those products in time for Christmas is on.
Wal-Mart Inc. sees demand for Pickup Today orders double during the last two weeks of the season. The service is available on qualifying items ordered online by 4 p.m. local time on Dec. 23. Customers will be able to pick up those items in a store on Dec. 24 by 6 p.m. local time. The retailer continues to offer free two-day shipping on eligible items with purchases of $35 or more.
A blog post at Wal-Mart Today, and other communication about free two-day shipping, includes a not so thinly-veiled reference to Amazon.com‘s Prime membership, which costs $99 annually. “Need a last-minute gift? No problem. We have you covered. Oh, did we mention you don’t need a subscription?”
Wal-Mart’s deals include ladies Muk Luks A La Mode tall knit slipper boots for $19.97; gold oval six-piece makeup brush set, $14.88; Olay Purple body-care gift set, $9.88, as well as a $20 price rollback on Google Home Mini, $29. The retailer is bringing voice-activated shopping to customers through a deal with Google, which is also an area of interest for Amazon with its Alexa assistant.
The online behemoth revealed that Prime free same-day delivery and Prime free one-day shipping will be available in more than 8,000 cities and towns in the U.S. The deadlines for Christmas delivery are Dec. 23, and Dec. 22, respectively. Prime Now will deliver member orders to more than 30 cities within a hair of Christmas Day, 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 24. Free shipping on millions of items fulfilled and shipped by Amazon, will be in effect until Dec. 16, and is available to all customers, free of charge. Meanwhile, the deadline for free standard shipping is Dec. 18.
Amazon.com on Monday said its second annual Digital Day will bow on Dec. 29 with more than 5,000 deals, including “Wonder Woman” on Amazon video, 60 percent off; up to 75 percent off Roblox New Year’s Eve-themed wearables; up to 75 percent off Kindle bestsellers such as “The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye” and “Modern Romance,” and three months free of Daily Burn streaming workouts.
Target Corp. last week announced its acquisition of same-day delivery platform Shipt for $550 million. While the Shipt service won’t bow until next year, Target is nonetheless offering free holiday shipping for online orders placed by Dec. 20 at 11:59 p.m. CST for delivery by Dec. 23. Customers can upgrade to express one-day shipping, and for a fee, place orders until noon local time on Dec. 22, for eligible items delivered by Dec. 23.
Target’s deals include Google Home with Google Assistant for $79, a $50 savings; $10 Target gift card with apparel purchases of $50 or more; women’s pajamas, 50 percent off; Mossimo Supply Co. chenille ruffle-sleeve sweater, $17.49, a 30 percent savings. For serious procrastinators, there are tens of thousands of products that can be sent instantly through Target’s new Gift Now e-gift option.