Walmart Turns Up the Online Shipping Heat

Note: This article was originally published on the CivicScience blog on June 2, 2015.

News in late May emerged about Walmart’s pilot program, based on their own membership service to provide unlimited 3-day shipping for online orders. The service is expected to be called ShippingPass and offered at half the price tag of an Amazon Prime membership. FYI: An Amazon Prime account costs $99/year for unlimited, free two-day shipping, but ShippingPass would be available to customers in certain geographies for $50/year.

Not to be outdone, Amazon within days of this news announced that its Prime members now could also benefit from same-day shipping on certain in-stock items in certain metro areas.

So, let the “boxing” begin: We wanted to take a closer look at the consumers who are likely to be drawn to Walmart’s offer, so we began tracking this in our InsightStore™ as soon as the news broke:

Looking at U.S. adults who answered “Very likely” and “Somewhat likely,” we were able to profile those who were interested in the new Walmart offer. Here’s what we found after comparing the likely subscriber to the average respondent:


  • 46% male, 54% female
  • Age: very similar to the average. 34% fall into Millennial bucket, 35% are 35-54, and 31% are 55 and over.
  • Income: the likely subscriber is 30% more likely to have a household income of $35K or under.
  • Employment: 59% are currently employed.
  • Residential status: 60% are homeowners, which is slightly less than average.
  • Parental status: 37% are parents, while 28% are grandparents. They are slightly more likely than average to have children.
  • Residential area: 31% live in a rural area which is slightly more likely (15%+) than average.
  • Household size: 23% more likely to have 4 or more people living in their current household.


  • They are 31% more likely than average to follow trends and current events in the TV and movie industry.
  • They are 28% more likely than average to follow trends and current events in food and cooking.
  • Potential subscribers are 23% more likely than average to follow trends and current events in technology and electronics.
  • They are 21% more likely than average to follow trends and current events in health and fitness.

Shopping Habits

  • They are 31% more likely to use their smartphone frequently or often to research products they want to purchase.
  • Likely subscribers are 30% more likely to enjoy telling others about new brand and technology.
  • They are 24% more likely to use coupons every chance they get on non-food purchases.
  • They are 18% more likely to showroom across websites (research a product on one online retail site, then purchase it on another site).
  • Potential subscribers are 17% more likely to tell friends and family about a product when they are happy with it.
  • They are slightly less likely (-8%) than average to tell family and friends when they are unhappy with a product.

Entertainment and Media Consumption

  • They are 67% more likely to watch dramas for 5+ hours in an average week.
  • They are 57% more likely to watch sitcoms for 5+ hours in an average week.
  • Likely subscribers are 47% more likely to prefer drama movies.

Overall, when it comes to the demographics of the likely Walmart ShippingPass customer, they look fairly similar to the average U.S. adult. However, they are slightly more likely to be women, have a lower income, have children, and have a larger household size. Given their TV watching behaviors and the fact that they keep up with trends in the TV and movie industry, they will probably be packing their shopping carts with the latest movies (especially dramas) or video games. Also, good news for Walmart – likely subscribers are evangelizers and tell others about new brands and technology. Not only that, but they are more likely to share positive feedback with family and friends than negative feedback on the product.

There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the new shipping service. Walmart has not yet announced which geographic locations where this new service will be offered and also what products will be available through ShippingPass. But with 1 out of 10 consumers showing interest, even though it’s a 3-day shipping vs. Amazon’s 2-day schedule, this could serve Walmart well and be a compelling reason for some (especially Walmart fans) to jump-‘ship’ from Amazon Prime.

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